Afternoon MarketWatch: Quiet trade days works against grains.

Thursday, October 15, 2015
***** Corn futures drop 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cents; soybeans down 3 3/4 to 5 1/4; Chicago wheat futures fall 5 3/4 to 6.  *****

   # Similar story for the grains as a lack of news again fails to produce much buying interest.         
   # NOPA crush was one bit of significant fundamental data reported on Thursday. At 126.7 million bushels, the number was disappointing compared against expectations of 129.25 million.  Reported meal exports were strong and soy oil stocks fell by more than expected.   
   # The weekly ethanol report gave corn traders some guidance.  Production was steady with last week and utilized 99.6 million bushels of corn.  At 5.25 billion bushels, the current USDA target for ethanol grind requires a hefty 100.8 million bushels per week.       
   # USDA’s weekly export sales report was delayed until Friday due to the Columbus Day holiday.  Analysts are looking for corn sales near 22 million bushels, bean sales close to 45 million, and wheat sales of about 13 million.  
   # The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its U.S. winter weather outlook on Thursday.  El Nino is expected to remain a strong influence on what is forecasted to be warm temperatures in the northern section of the country and wet conditions in the South.  
   # Rains are forecasted for the Southern Plains next week, giving relief to some wheat-growing areas that have started to suffer from a developing drought.  A wetter forecast is also welcomed by wheat growers in Russia and Ukraine.  Some weather risk premium has evaporated from the wheat market as a result.    
   # A strong chance of frost develops this weekend for most of the Corn Belt.  Wet weather enters the forecast next week and may stick around for the remainder of the month. 
   # The dollar gained against most currencies on Thursday as index futures rebounded out of a five-day slide.    
   # Stocks rallied on Thursday as they started with enthusiasm from a Chinese stock rally and continued on with good earnings reports from the big banks and more talk doubting an interest rate increase in 2015.

***** Live cattle futures close $0.70 to $1.30 lower; feeders end $0.85 to $1.80 lower; hog futures off $0.10 to $0.75. *****
   # Recent strength in the wholesale beef market is supportive, but traders are stepping away from the cattle contracts until the direction of this week’s cash trade develops.   
   # Wholesale pork prices are losing momentum in the usual seasonal fashion.  Hog futures do maintain strong technical momentum for now.