Afternoon MarketWatch: Soybeans surrender $9 but hold solid gains for the week.

Friday, October 16, 2015
***** Corn futures gain 1 1/4 cent after trading lower for most of Friday’s session; soybeans drop 7 cents and surrender the $9 mark; Chicago wheat gives up 10 1/4 as the board falls below $5. ***** 

   # December corn futures dipped below key technical support at $3.75 before rebounding toward a higher close.  Corn lost 6 cents on the week as soybeans gained 12 1/2 and Chicago wheat dropped 17 over five sessions.         
   # Traders shrugged off solid weekly export sales data.  Corn sales were up on the week at 23.6 million bushels.  New soybean commitments were near the top end of the trade guesses at 54.3 million.  Wheat sales were fair at 16.9 million.
   # Corn exports were slightly above expectations this week, but U.S. grain traders are still struggling to compete with suppliers in South America. Sales have reached only 25 percent of the USDA’s current 1.85 billion bushel goal.       
   # Informa released its latest estimates for the 2016 acreage mix.  The analysts see corn area rising from 88.4 to 90.8 million acres on the year with soybean plantings increasing slightly to 83.9 million.  Wheat acreage is expected to fall 600,000 acres.        # A 270,000 ton soybean sale flashed across the USDA’s daily report system on Friday morning.    
   # Good prospects for rain across the Great Plains took the wind out of wheat futures.  Also negative is an improving forecast for wheat crops in the Black Sea region.     
   # 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. 
   # Monday’s Crop Progress report is expected to show the corn harvest to be 60 percent complete with soybeans 80 percent cut.      
   # Stocks were gaining into the closing bell to add to good gains made for the week.  Energies were higher across the board despite a stronger dollar.  Metals were mostly lower while soft commodities were higher with the exception of coffee.  

***** Live cattle futures trade limit-up; feeders end $3.05 to $4.10 higher; hog futures off $0.40 to $1.35. *****
   # Lower cash prices weighed on hog futures to end the week.  Direct hogs in the Western Corn Belt were trading $1.59 lower on the day.  Wholesale pork was able to hold gains of $1.49.   
   # Cattle futures rallied sharply on Friday as prices in the cash market improved.  Live sales were being posted near $130, a $3 gain on last week’s