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June 5, 2023

In the News

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Crude Oil-0.8271.85116.87
Grain and oilseed futures were mostly firm in a holiday-shortened week, with support from growing concerns over dryness in the Midwest. Following one of the drier months on record for much of the Midwest, the first half of June is ending up dry as well. Subsoil moisture levels are still mostly adequate, and cooler temperatures will help ease drying into Mid-June. But yield expectations will start to decline, particularly for corn, if rains do not pick up soon. The latest weekly U.S. Drought Monitor showed a rapid spread of drought conditions in the heart of the Corn Belt. On the negative side for prices, export demand remains weak. Wheat was mixed, with some underlying support from the bleak hard red winter crop outlook, though demand for U.S. wheat remains lackluster. Cotton futures were supported by excessive rains in West Texas and the Panhandle, where some acreage is likely to be lost. Cotton was also supported by outside markets including crude oil and the stock market, which jumped late in the week on a bullish monthly jobs report.

In the livestock complex, both live cattle and feeder cattle soared, with contract highs in both markets and a new all-time high in feeders. Fed cattle were led by nearby months following a phenomenal surge in Plains cash prices, which were up by as much as $9 from the prior week. Longer-term concerns about beef production helped to boost the market, along with the optimism about the economy in the wake of the jobs report. Futures are very overbought technically after this week's surge. Lean hog futures also surged amid short-covering and ideas that California's Proposition 12 and its impact on hog supplies had been factored in. Wholesale pork prices rallied even though hog marketings remained larger than expected as retailers restocked after Memorial Day features. Poor packer operating margins remain a negative market factor.

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