Agrivisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Friday, December 11, 2015
***** Corn futures ended 4 lower, soybeans down 7-8, and Chicago wheat 4-5 lower. *****  

   # The general “risk off” attitude led by weaker crude oil prices played into the grain market to end the week, curtailing any interest in buying grains.  Soybeans were again the weakest with rumors about evolving Argentine monetary policy keeping the complex the weakest of the grains.  
   # CONAB released their latest Brazilian forecasts Friday, projecting slightly larger crops than last month.  Soybeans are now forecast to hit 102.5 mmt. with corn at 82.0 mmt.  A slight increase in plantings for both were the key behind the slight upward revision.
   # Coceral released their latest production estimates; soft wheat output is projected to hit 150.3 mmt., with corn at 58.5 mmt. Neither was drastically different from prior numbers nor the USDA.
   # There was a rumor circulating that Argentina was going to take off currency controls next week, effectively allowing the Peso to move to the unofficial rate.  They were later denied, with little indication on what their plans are for moving the official-unofficial exchange rates together.
   # Analysts at the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange believe 70% of the soybean crop has been planted, with corn planting 50% done.  Wheat harvest is 41% complete.
   # The weather forecast has scattered flood chances for parts of the western Midwest early 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 continues to see good rain, with scattered pockets of flooding, including parts of Argentina. 
   # Stock markets weakened at week’s end, with energy stocks generally leading the way down.  The S&P 500 had its biggest one week decline since August.  Some of the weakness in the commodity sector has rubbed off on the bond sector as well.  Some were dredging up talk about 2008’s nightmares. Discussion about next week’s Fed meeting has largely been pushed to the background, especially with many already positioned for a change.
   # The Dollar weakened on falling oil and some thought the Fed may not raise rates next week.  In other news, the Peoples Bank of China is hinting it may ease their restraint on Yuan movement by shifting the value from the Dollar alone to a basket of currencies.
***** Live cattle end $0.10 to $0.37 lower, with feeders $0.92 to $1.45 lower; but lean hogs ended $1.32 to $1.07 higher(other than Dec. ***** 

   # The news of the day was the rumor floating around the trade that China was buying hams for 1st qtr. 2016 delivery.  Wholesale prices ended the day stronger, with the cutout at $74.41.  Hams were the strongest cut.  Cash hog prices were softer with packers not having to bid aggressively with the big supply being offered to them.
   # Cattle futures slipped slightly lower behind both a soft live trade and soft wholesale market.  Cash traded as low as $115.50 Friday, with the choice beef ending slightly lower at $202.50.