AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
***** Corn futures fall 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cents; soybeans down 4 1/2; Chicago wheat weaker by 9 1/4 to 10 3/4.  ***** 

   # It was Fed Decision Day today, with U.S. central bankers deciding to raise the economy’s key interest rate by a quarter of a point.  
   # Grains held onto sharp losses after the Fed announcement was made at 1:00 p.m. central.  The dollar index initially jumped, turned lower, and then was trading with fractional gains in late afternoon trading.    
   # More bear talk surround Argentina took grip on the grains Wednesday.  Rumors began to circulate early that the new government would come out with an announcement on relaxed currency controls.  There has been speculation in recent weeks that the peso could be eventually floated to some extent.
   # Weekly ethanol numbers were reported.  Production was up on the week to 7 million barrels.  Stocks remain high at over 20 million barrels.  Corn grind was a very robust 105 million bushels, a figure that keeps us well on pace to meet the USDA’s current 5.175 billion bushel target. 
   # The National Weather Service assigns most of the Midwest a 90 percent chance for temperatures to stay well above normal for the rest of December. Both the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks have chances for above normal precipitation.    
   # Good growing conditions are being enjoyed by wheat farmers in France.  A sizable jump for that country’s production this year will help offset some losses in Germany and the UK. USDA calls for European Union output to total 157 mmt, up only slight from the previous crop year. 
   # Wednesday’s weakness breaks trend for corn futures, tugging the most-active March futures contract back below its 20-day moving average. $3.67 3/4 provides minor support below.  
   # The rest of this week’s grain trade will be guided first by developments out of Argentina regarding the peso.  Grains will also take direction from outside markets that will be left to digest this afternoon’s Fed funds rate hike.      

***** Live cattle finish $0.25 to $0.55 lower as feeders drop $0.62 to $0.82; lean hogs down $0.30 to $1.02. ***** 

   # Cattle futures are pressured as the board holds premium to the cash market.  Expectations are for cash prices to end the week with a weaker tone. Trade guesses are starting to circulate for Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. 
   # Hog futures are pressured as cash market offerings continue to run high, this at a time when demand remains seasonally weak.  The February contract’s close below its 20-day moving average was bearish feature of Wednesday’s chart action.