Monday, August 17, 2015 AgriVisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Monday, August 17, 2015
***** Corn futures drop a penny; soybeans end fractionally higher; Chicago wheat drop 6 to 7 1/4 cents. *****

   Markets were mixed over the course of a rather quiet trade. Markets were quiet despite the release of key data including FSA acres and NOPA crush. Weather forecasts are favorable for crop conditions, negative for price. Outside markets traded without exerting much influence on the grains.
   Export inspections were solid this week and particularly strong for soybeans. Soybean shipments were 13.8 million bushels. Corn exports were 35 million bushels, near the week's tally a year ago. Cumulative shipments still run behind last year, 1.686 billion bushels compared to 1.765 billion in 2014.
   Prevent plant acres reported by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) were higher than expected. Claims filed amounted to 2.3 million corn acres and 2.17 million soybean acres. The numbers are difficult to match up with planted acres estimates from the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), but they have analysts suggesting that the NASS figures could eventually be reduced by up to 1 million acres for both corn and soybeans. 
   The July soybean crush data were very strong. NOPA crush was 145.2 million bushels for the month and well above expectations for 141.5 million. A strong crush pace has been a notable feature of the market again this year and just recently led the USDA to up its usage target by 15 million bushels to 1.845 billion for 2014/15.
   Outside markets were mostly quiet on Monday. Stock traders are waiting to see if any further currency volatility develops and expect to have more guidance on interest rates when minutes from the July Fed meeting are released on Wednesday. Oil futures are down for the seventh session in eleven this August. Gold prices finish moderately higher. Soft commodities end lower for the day. 

***** Hogs up $0.50 to $1.275 on the session; live cattle futures end steady to $0.75 higher as October feeders finish $0.675 lower. *****

   Hog futures posted gains on a cash market that held steady. Traders are looking for some convergence to occur between futures and cash now that the October contract has become front month while holding a steep discount to the cash index. 
   After last week ended without a discernable trend ever developing in the cash cattle market, traders are left expecting showlists to grow and weigh on prices this week. Slaughters are up slightly from a week ago. Demand will have to do the work keep support under the market, but beef's premium held over other meats will be a headwind at the retail level.