AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, December 10, 2015
***** Corn futures gain a nickel as soybeans make slight gains; Chicago wheat futures end higher by 5 to 6 cents. ***** 
   # Export sales were solid for corn and soybeans.  43 million bushels of new corn sales were reported, beating out expectations of 18-25.  Soybean sales were 53.4 million bushels and above the 40 million bushels that made up the top end of trade estimates.  Wheat sales, once again, were dismal at only 8 million bushels.  
   # A soybean sale of about 4.5 million bushels scrolled across the USDA’s daily reporting system on Thursday.  Soybean sales are 15 percent behind the cumulative total from a year ago, but their pace has accelerated in recent weeks.  
   # The new Argentine president took office today.  Traders expect him to make good on his word to effectively eliminate corn and wheat export taxes, but it is hard to say how his administration will handle quotas.  Soybean taxes should be reduced from 35 to 30 percent.   
   # The weather forecast has flooding chances in effect for parts of the Midwest next week.  Temperatures are to remain well above normal for much of the next 6-10 days.  Beyond that, temperatures could turn quickly colder.  
   # Dry weather continues to be a slight worry for growers in Mato Grosso and the northeastern states of Brazil.  Only scattered showers are in the outlook for the regions next week.  The Southern region of the country is currently burdened by heavy rain and flooding.    
   # January soybean futures held chart support from the 20-day moving average but could not settle above the 50-day.  The contract recovered losses on Wednesday after mid-session weakness pulled it down to a Fibonacci retracement target.  
   # Financial markets are choppy as traders await next week’s decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.   Bond markets are pricing in an 85 percent chance that rates will be raised on after the December 16 meeting.   
   # Dollar index futures bounced but recovered on a fraction of the losses incurred when the European Central Bank took monetary policy action last Thursday. The tumble had sent contracts into short-run oversold territory before they were able to retake support from the 50-day moving average today.   

***** Live cattle end $1.70 to $2.37 higher as feeders climb $2.37 to $2.42; hogs finish fractionally weaker. ***** 

   # Hogs were steady on the day, with the exception of the expiring Dec. contract that ended $0.52 lower.  Higher wholesale prices were able to lend some support to the futures market.  The February contract maintains some technical momentum after bottoming out in mid-November.  
   # Cattle futures recovered from a weaker start and made a bullish reversal out of fresh contract lows.  Traders made the decision to take profits by covering shorts.  Cash markets are likely to remain quiet through the week’s end after some activity saw $118 being traded on Wednesday.