Afternoon MarketWatch: Grains quietly mixed as the trade lacks fresh fundamental input.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
***** Corn futures down 3/4 to 2 1/2 cents overnight; soybeans up 2 to 3; Chicago wheat gaining a penny ahead of the break. *****

   # Grains trade with a lack of direction overnight.  Corn futures are moving a touch lower as spreads firm.  November soybeans are working to retake support from $9.  
   # News has been mostly limited to the weekly export sales and inspections reports.  U.S. exporters continue to struggle against competition from South America and fall behind on meeting export targets for both corn and soybeans as a result.                     
   # South American exporters are outselling the U.S. in part because of favorable currency terms.  Interest rate expectations and relative economy strength have put the dollar at a record high against the Argentine peso and Brazilian real.   
   # Parts of the Corn Belt enjoyed a light rain overnight.  Up to an inch fell in a band extending from eastern Iowa through northern Illinois to southern Michigan.  
   # Spotty showers may fall again in parts of the Midwest tonight, but growers are watching a two week forecast that continues to shift drier.  A cool spell is forecasted in the 6-10 day outlook before temperatures warm later in the 8-14 day.  
   # Technical traders will note a bullish outside day made on the corn chart Tuesday.  There has been a lack of follow-through from sellers on the break below support at $3.75, but futures will now contend with resistance from the 50-day moving average hovering just overhead.    
   # Traders are far from consensus on what to expect out of the November crop report.  Yield guesses remain all over the board and questions exist about the USDA’s current demand targets.    
   # A selloff in Chinese stocks has failed to spook the U.S. market overnight. The dollar and most other major currencies trade steady on Wednesday morning.  Energies are lower ahead of the weekly stocks report.  Metals are down fractionally as soft commodities are moderately mixed.   

***** Hog futures look to open steady/higher with some bullish charts support; cattle face technical resistance but do not look to sell off sharply any time soon. *****
   # Estimates for Friday’s Cattle on Feed report are circulating.  Wall Street Journal’s survey average has analysts expecting the on-feed number to reach 101.8 percent of the year-ago total while placements should come in near 94 percent and marketings at 97.7.       
   # Talk of improved demand for hogs in China helped spark a board rebound on Tuesday.  The market will likely continue facing pressure from seasonal cash weakness.