Thurs, Sept 24, 2015 AgriVisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Thursday, September 24, 2015
***** Corn futures finish lower by 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cents; soybeans gain 4 1/4; Chicago wheat loses 10 1/4 to 10 3/4. *****

   # Harvest ramps up across the Corn Belt with corn yields that are all over the board but soybean numbers that are solid.  The two week outlook now calls for normal precipitation chances in the Midwest.     
   # The visiting delegation from China signed 24 soybean purchase contracts today in Des Moines, agreeing to buy 13.18 million tons valued at $5.3 billion.  That amount was more than the 10 million tons that analysts thought would make up the high side of the potential purchase total.     
   # Russian officials are close to lowering the tax currently levied on wheat exports.  The country’s export program is struggling somewhat despite attractive currency terms and abundant inventories.  
   # Wheat prices are finding support from dry-weather worries in Russia, where growers are wrapping up their winter crop plantings.  Dry soils in Australia are also being mentioned as harvest kicks off there.      
   # Worry persists over export demand with traders today talking about the Brazilian real currency reaching a new record low against the dollar.  The currencies of Argentina and other export competitors like Europe, Russia, and Ukraine also are depressed relative to the dollar.    
   # A strike being held by agriculture workers in Brazil’s public sector has lasted longer than expected and is starting to disrupt exports.      
   # Export sales were mixed with corn a bit light at 16.8 million bushels, soybeans strong at 48.4 million, and wheat fair at 10.4 million.    
   # Fed Chair Janet Yellen will not be speaking until after the stock market closes today.  The major equity indexes were tumbling today in part because of uncertainty over the timing of the expected interest rate hike.    

***** Hog futures climb $0.30 to $1.20; live cattle down $0.12 to $0.55 on Thursday afternoon with November feeders recovering to post gains of $1.15. ***** 

   # It was an action-packed session for cattle, with futures testing the expanded lower limit before reversing higher into the close.  Tomorrow will tell if traders are ready to cover shorts and take profits after prices tumbled hard through the summer.   
   # Trade estimates for Friday’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs report are out:  The all-hogs total is expected to grow 3.6 percent on the year.  No change is expected in the number kept for breeding.  Farrowings for June through February are projected to have fallen by 1 to 3 percent.