Markets remain erratic into a 3-day weekend.

Grain futures spent most of the evening lower overnight, with soybeans again catching a bid in the morning hours on the continual rising of bids in Brazil, with soybeans higher by another 10-12 cents from Thursday to now being a $1.55 over US values. US soybeans are now the cheaper source for soybeans from April forward. These higher prices are occurring during the gut slot of harvest in Brazil, with farmers slowing sales due to disappointing yields.

Wheat futures traded two-sided overnight with initial reports that US Sec. Blinken was invited by the Russian minister to continue talks. However, wheat futures reversed in the early morning hours and started making new recovery highs on reports that Russian separatists in eastern Donbas of Ukraine were told to evacuate to Russia.

With today being the last day before a three-day weekend, political tensions in the Black Sea and evolving weather for Argentina late next week has trade erratic. With the overall trend in place for higher grain prices into spring. A rising bid should be under the market, producing a higher trending Friday close. Considering the massive crop losses that have developed in South America, with total bean production down 1 billion Bu from the USDA’s October estimates, rationing is going to be an audacious project via price and product switching.

South American weather for Argentina and southern Brazil has been devastating for the first three weeks of February, with rain moisture running 7-12% of normal in some areas. As a result, excessive heat has expedited crop maturity to the detriment of yields. Temperatures remain hot through next week until Thursday when rain chances develop and Argentina moves northward into southern Brazil. Rain totals of .5-2.00” will help produce some crop stabilization. But as March opens, the long-term model shows a return to continued lingering drought.

Cattle trade on Thursday was mostly lower on the futures, whereas the cash market continued with Thursday’s higher prices, with most sales in the northern Plains market receiving $142. Boxed beef prices again slipped with the choice down three cents and select lower by $1.23. Of note, it is reported beef export sales last week hit a marketing-year high of 51 Mil pounds. The largest weekly sales figure since November. Weekly export sales were also at a marketing-year high of 36 Mil pounds. April live cattle have support at 143.00 if pushed into a correction from stalling at the 148.50 area.