AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Tuesday, December 29, 2015
***** Corn futures settle up 1 to 1 1/2 cent; soybeans higher by a nickel; Chicago wheat gains 8 to 9 1/4. ***** 

   # Corn futures finished with gains after making new contract lows and trading weaker for most of the session.  A late rally in wheat helped corn make the reversal, as did building strength in the broad commodity complex.         
   # If nothing more, the finish for corn was just a technical correction from short-run oversold territory.  The most-active March contract faces a test of Monday’s high before it would go on to meet resistance from its 10- and 20-day moving averages.  
   # Corn futures are not tracking well with their seasonal studies yet this winter.  The 15-year seasonal has corn turning up near the first of December and moving steadily higher into mid-Spring.  The same seasonal has soybeans trending lower in January before rallying in February.         
   # Wheat futures bounced on Tuesday after having approached old contract lows.  Large global inventories and weak demand for U.S. exports have been a bearish theme for many months now.  News of cheap Argentine wheat and relaxed Russian trade taxes has added pressure recently.  Some slight weather-related worries for the U.S. winter crop helped boost futures on the session.        
   # Several grain hubs along the Mississippi River have been shuttered as flooding threatens the Midwest.  The River could crest near a record 50 feet in areas south of St. Louis by Friday morning.       
   # Fund traders were seen covering shorts ahead of the session’s close.  They still maintain a considerable net-short on the grains, so any large-scale attempt to square the position could lend some strength to futures. 
   # Stronger crude oil prices helped to spark a stock rally on Tuesday.  A reading of consumer confidence came in stronger than expected to help out as well.  The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was up to 96.5 this month and above expectations of something near 93.5.   

***** Live cattle futures drop $0.47 to $1.02 as feeders dip $0.37 to $0.67; hogs down $0.10 to $0.60. ***** 

   # Some profit-taking is evident in the cattle market.  Futures are backing off after reaching technically-oversold territory.  The next area of support comes in from the 50-day moving average just below.  $131.50 sets up as a possible retracement target.   
   # Hogs were consolidating on recent gains during a quiet Tuesday trade.  Bearish fundamentals are slowly shifting the other way with market-ready hog numbers soon to begin cycling lower.  Cash hogs were mostly steady as the carcass average gained about quarter by midday.