AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Monday, December 21, 2015
***** Corn, soybeans, and wheat all up fractionally at the morning break. ​*****
   # Grains trade with a slightly firmer bias overnight.  Volumes are light and should continue to be so throughout this shortened holiday week.  
   # Outside markets are quiet overnight.  Stock index futures are rebounding after last week’s tumble.  WTI crude futures are off another 50 cents.  The dollar is little changed against most foreign currencies.              
   # Dry weather in Brazil helped spark a soybean rally late last week.  Mato Grosso and growing regions in the Northeast are running well short of normal rainfall for this time of the year.  Parana and states south are a little bit too wet.        
   # El Nino is being blamed for drought in South Africa.  Growers there are seeing corn prices rise because of an expected production shortfall. 
   # Asian palm oil prices were higher on Monday and provided some spillover support to soy oil.  Gains were posted despite a poor export report out of Malaysia.  Traders are still betting that El Nino will be hurting palm production this year.  
   # Chinese trade data were reported on Monday.  November soybean imports stand at 7.4 million metric tons.  Year-to-date wheat imports total 2.8 million tons, which is down 5.65 percent on the previous year.  
   # Fund traders were seen covering shorts last week. The large speculators remain net short by about 40,000 corn contracts, 15,000 soybeans, and 45,000 wheat.  We will watch to see if position squaring helps boost prices into the calendar year’s end.  

***** Livestock futures look to stabilize as contracts build on momentum established on Friday. *****   

   # Cattle futures may find strength to start the week after Friday’s on-feed report leaned a bit bullish.  Placements were 11 percent under the year-ago number and well below expectations.  Marketings were also a little higher than anticipated at 104 percent.    
   # Hog futures will look to the wholesale market for guidance to start the week. The carcass average hovers above $70 for now.  Slaughters continue to run very high, up nearly 8 percent so far on the year.  A quarterly Hogs and Pigs report is released on Wednesday.