AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
***** Corn up 1/4 to 1 1/4 cent; soybeans higher by 3 to 5 1/2; Chicago wheat down 3 1/4 to 4 1/2. *****

   # Corn and soybeans hold slight gains while trading ranges are relatively tight but volume relatively high.  Wheat gives back just a portion of Tuesday’s gains.   
   # Fund traders were seen covering shorts on Tuesday and Wednesday, but they still hold sizable bear bets on the grains.  The large speculators are estimated to be net-short by about 140,000 contracts of corn, 65,000 soybeans, and 80,0000 wheat.       
   # Another good round of ethanol numbers.  Production was up slightly on the week and ran 2.5 percent higher than a year ago.  Corn use was a strong 10.5 million bushels and well above the 98.5 million needed per week to meet the USDA’s grind target.          
   # Good news out of China for a change.  The country’s soybean imports were 9.12 million metric tons in December, or about 7 percent higher than they were a year ago.  
   # Weather abroad is mostly good.  Showers in northern Brazil help relieve some dryness as fields in Argentina maintain favorable moisture levels.  Wheat in the Black Sea is blanketed with a protective snow cover.  Southeast Asia continues to run on the dry side.       
   # The threat of La Nina is replacing some worries related to an outgoing El Nino.  Most meteorologists still suggest a shift toward La Nina taking on a 50-50 shot.        
   # The weekly export sales report will be a key source of guidance for Thursday’s grain trade.  New corn bookings are expected to come in near 20 million bushels with soybean sales close to 40 million, and wheat around 10 million.         
   # Outside markets were a friendly influence for the grains to start the session but took a turn for the worse by midday. There was little news to cause the stocks to reverse sharply lower, but traders took cue from an oil market that failed to sustain early morning gains.       

***** February live cattle up $0.07 as the deferred months fall fractionally; feeders up $0.02 to $0.77; hog futures down $0.27 to $0.40. ***** 

   # Cattle futures trade rather quietly on Wednesday as market participants wait for the cash market to more fully develop.  The market is finding some support from bids popping up near last week’s $133 market.  
   # Hogs take a step back as futures approach technical resistance.  Cash and wholesale markets were quiet, steady as of midday.