AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
***** Corn futures fall fractionally; soybeans off 3 1/2 to 5 3/4 cents; Chicago wheat down 1 1/2 to 2 1/4. *****
   # Corn and wheat bounce off session lows but soybeans make new ones into the close. Wednesday is another trade characterized by low trading volume and a lack of fresh news.       
   # Grains again ignored support from higher crude oil and stronger stocks.  The dollar was fractionally higher against most currencies throughout the session with March index futures back and forth in between their 20- and 50-day moving averages.  
   # Traders priced in some rainfall in Brazil.  Some of the driest areas in the Northeast collected a few inches over the past few days and scattered showers remain in the forecast.  Crop troubles there are from averted, though.   
   # There’s not a clear set of estimates out yet for the January 12 crop report.  Some suggest little changes will be made to the U.S. balance sheets while others look for fireworks out of the revisions.  January report day is usually a volatile one as the Crop Production release is paired with quarterly Grain Stocks and Winter Wheat Seedings updates.      
   # Export sales will give the trade some direction on Thursday morning.  Estimates call for new corn commitments near 25 million bushels, soybeans around 35 million, and wheat up to 15.  
   # The ethanol report wasn’t quite as hot this week.  Production of the fuel was down about 3 percent on the week with corn grind estimated at 102 million bushels.  Ethanol production margins are soft, but the pace of corn usage remains well on track to meet the USDA’s current 2015/16 target of 5.175 billion bushels.    
   # Stocks continued to rebound on some OK economic data.  Consumer spending gained 0.3 percent last month as durable goods orders shook out better than expected.  The Dow Jones average remains down about one percent for the 2015 calendar year. 

***** Nearby live cattle contracts up the $3 limit; feeders more than $4 higher; hogs up $0.85 to $0.90. *****
   # Cattle futures continued higher after late cash sales made on Tuesday were up to $7 higher than the previous week. Short-covering and chart momentum help to propel the board higher.     
   # The quarterly Hogs and Pigs report was released after the closing bell. The all-hogs/pigs count as of December 1st was 100.8 and just a touch lighter than expected.  The breeding number was fully anticipated at 101 percent.  Market hogs were fewer than anticipated at 100.7 percent of the year ago number.  The inventory numbers, along with the farrowing intentions data, lean friendly to the market.