Agrivisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Thursday, December 17, 2015
***** Corn futures closed 4 1/2 to 5 higher; soybeans 14-15 higher; with Chicago wheat 1/2 to 2.  *****
   # Between the Fed increase in interest rates and the Argentine move to allow the Peso to float, the Dollar gained against Latin American currencies, with the strength working against grain markets in the early going. But the Argentine move in particular didn’t trigger massive soybean sales, setting off a wave of short covering in the grains.  Export sales and planting numbers were a small positive.
   # Export sales generally came in at the low end of expectations, with wheat sales slightly under.  The soybean total was 1.02 mmt., corn 677,600 tons, and wheat 320,200 tons.  
   # Informa released new planting forecasts for the 2016 crops.  Their corn forecast 88.9 mln. acres was down over 1 mln. from their prior estimate, and only slightly higher than 2015.  Their soybean forecast 84.5 mln. was 800,000 lower than the prior one, but still 1.3 mln. over 2015.
   # U.S. corn FOB values are competitive with Brazil, but Arg. Peso’s decline dropped the Arg. values under the U.S.  But they don’t have a lot of old crop that could be sold like they do for soybeans.  Our wheat FOB values continue to be below the world, with today’s strength in the Dollar aggravating that even more.
   # The National Weather Service continues to see most of the Midwest having temps well above normal for the rest of December. Both the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks have chances for above normal precipitation from the Midsouth into the central/eastern Corn Belt.
   # The trade is finally starting to talk about the persistence of subpar shower activity across the center/west area of Brazil, with some pockets starting to turn extraordinarily dry.  The forecasts don’t include much rain, with temps warm to hot.  Southern Brazil and Argentine conditions are generally good, although there are local pockets of scattered flooding.  And rust is showing early this year.  Argentina is 72% done planting soybeans and 59% done with corn.  Wheat harvest is 50% done.
   # U.S. stock markets fell late after starting the day on a positive note.  Most passed the late day weakness off to a reaction to excessive euphoria yesterday after the Fed raised rates, a move seen as a sign of their confidence in the economy.

***** Live cattle finished $2.82 to $1.10 lower, feeders $3.45 to $2.15, lower, and lean hogs $2.12 to $1.12 lower. *****
   # Tepid wholesale meat demand, abundant market ready supplies, and looming holiday curtailed slaughter weeks kept the livestock markets on the defensive.