AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Thursday, December 24, 2015
***** Corn fractionally changed at the break; soybeans up 2 1/4 cents; Chicago wheat up fractionally.​ *****

   # No major moves to speak of for any of the U.S. financial markets.  Little in the way of fresh news. Grains are quietly mixed with very few contracts having changed hands so far.  
   # Grains bulls are sweating as corn futures re-approach old contract lows.  $3.62 1/2 on the March contract is the mark to watch.  Soybeans are back and forth between support from the 50-day moving average and resistance from the 20-day.                    
   # The latest Egyptian wheat tender is noteworthy.  Wheat was cheapest in an offer from Argentina, where grain export taxes had recently been eliminated.  The competitive wheat offer may be a harbinger of things to come for Argentine corn exports.       
   # U.S. export sales were all around strong this week.  At 31.6 million bushels, new corn bookings were at the top end of trade expectations.  New soybean sales of 76 million bushels about double the average trade guess.  The soymeal tally of 252,000 tons was strong.  Wheat sales were just OK at 13.5 million bushels.          
   # The most recent run of the U.S. weather model leans drier for the Midwest over the next few weeks.  The western edge of the Midwest has a chance of catching some snowfall brought in from the central Plains this weekend.  Temperatures are still expected to run warm through at least the first part of January.        
   # Most commodities will finish lower on the year, grains included.  The nearby March corn contract opened 2015 at $3.96 1/4 while soybean futures started at $10.17 3/4.  Chicago wheat futures are down a little more than $1 on the year.  
   # The major U.S. stock indexes have only a small amount of time to erase what is shaping up to be a loss for the year.  The S&P 500 has posted gains for six consecutive years.  Equites have little fresh news to price in today.  Jobless claims came in about as expected, down 5,000 to 267,000 last week.  

***** Cattle start firmer take on a defensive posture as the morning unfolds; hog futures up more than $1 across the curve. *****     

   # Cattle futures are up more than 10 percent since bottoming out just a week ago.  A bullish on-feed report helped spark the rally; improved cash market sentiment and support from a friendly Hogs and Pigs report helps sustain the strength.  
   # Hogs continue higher as traders price in the quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  The total hogs and pigs inventory count was slightly smaller than anticipated, as was the market hogs tally.  Farrowing intentions were down 4 percent on the year and the pig crop was down to 30.3 million head.