Afternoon MarketWatch: World weather forecasts boost wheat, weigh on soybeans.

Monday, October 26, 2015
***** Corn gains a nickel behind the strength of wheat futures, which were up 17 1/2 to 18 1/2 cents in Chicago; soybeans fell 10 to 11 1/2.  ***** 

   # Wheat futures staged an impressive rally to start the week as dryness persists in the U.S. Southern Plains and in the Black Sea growing region and Australia too.  
   # Wheat prices may have further room to run after the latest CFTC Commitment of Traders report showed funds with a hefty net-short position to cover.   
   # Soybean futures ended lower after a move that pulled the entire curve below $9.  This week’s weather outlook has much-needed rains falling over Mato Grosso, Brazil. 
   # The Argentine election is going to a runoff, but traders are expecting the new government – whoever leads it – to take a friendlier stance on agriculture by cutting export taxes.      
   # Crop Progress numbers were reported after the closing bell.  USDA called the corn crop 75 percent harvested as of Sunday, as expected.  The soybean harvest estimate was also fully anticipated at 87 percent.  Both numbers are well ahead of the five-year averages.  
   # Winter wheat plantings were pegged at 83 percent.  This week’s Crop Progress report was the first to include winter wheat condition ratings.  47 percent of the crop is rated good or excellent while 39 percent is tagged fair and 14 percent is poor or very poor.  Kansas and Oklahoma are notably suffering from dry soil conditions.       
   # Soybean shipments were better than expected at 98 million bushels.  Weekly inspections were low for corn at 16.3 million bushels and also a bit light for wheat at 11.7 million.  
   # Crude oil futures were down again on Monday, making for 9 losing sessions in the past 12.   
   # Financial markets were reacting to recent monetary developments in Europe and China as traders awaited the start of Tuesday and Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting.  

***** Live cattle futures ended $1.17 to $2.10 lower; feeder cattle $1.32-$2.90 lower, lean hogs $0.45-$0.85 lower. *****
   # Cattle futures were down to start the week after Friday’s on-feed report had placements slightly higher than expected.  Traders also reacted to slippage in the cash market that occurred late last week.    
   # Hog futures moved lower but found support from a firmer pork cutout. Contracts are now technically oversold after a steep four-day slide, but intermediate-term action leans negative.