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August 21, 2015 Lower market all around on Friday.

 
Friday, August 21, 2015
***** Lower markets all around on Friday.  Corn futures lost 3 1/4 to 5 3/4 cents, wheat 4 to 7 1/2 and soybeans were the big loser today with losses of 15 to 18 1/4. 
 
   Friday's grains trade was all about the 'risk-off' sentiment that pervaded all financial markets.  A Chinese Purchase Managers Index (PMI) reading was 47.1, the lowest it has been since the global recession.  Chinese economy worries weighed on the demand outlook for commodities like copper, oil, and the ags.  Political turmoil in Greece was keeping European markets on edge.  U.S. interest rate uncertainty added to the bearish mix.
 
   Chinese import data was digested.  Corn imports doubled on the year at 3.76 million metric tons from January to July.  Soybean imports were up 7.1 percent to 44.66 million tons in the same time.  Wheat imports were down 37 percent as a result large stockpiles already held.  The numbers were mostly very strong, but traders recognize that the bulk of purchases are being made outside of the U.S. market.
 
   A report from Canada has the government's crop agency finding a shift from wheat and canola to corn this year.  Total wheat production is expected to fall by 15.9 percent on the year, with lower spring wheat output contributing much of the decline.  Canola production is seen dropping by 14.2 percent as corn production grows by 7.2 percent.
 
   Pro Farmer's final crop tour estimates will be published this afternoon.  In 2014, the tour tallied an average corn yield of 169.3 bushels per acre versus the USDA's final yield of 171.  Pro Farmer was low on the soybean estimate, 45.4 versus the USDA's 47.8.
 
   Friday afternoon's Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC will be looked at closely.  We will see where fund traders have landed with their positions since report day.  Money managers are likely wary about being buyers here, but they may not perceive there to be much to gain by shorting the market at these price levels either.        
 
***** Like the grains, livestock futures face a broad selloff on Friday.  Weak cash markets lead the futures lower for both cattle and hogs.  The meat complex finished the day with triple-digit losses across the board.  Live cattle futures lost 1.475 to 2.625; lean hogs 1.425 to 2.425. 
 
    Hogs broke under technical support at the open and were subsequently pressured by lower values in the cash market.  Keeping in line with seasonal expectations, direct hogs were falling to meet the discounted futures board.
 
   There was some earlier-than-usual trading this week in the cash cattle market.  Live prices dropped $2 to $145 to $148 on Thursday.  Expectations for higher placements on this afternoon's on-feed report helped weigh on the market.                  
 

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