AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, January 22, 2016
***** Corn futures settle 3 to 3 1/4 cents higher; soybeans down 1 3/4 to 3; Chicago wheat fractionally firmer and Kansas City wheat fractionally weaker. *****
   # The grains weather a week of volatile action in outside markets.  Corn futures finish higher by 7 cents over the four sessions of a holiday-shortened trading week. Soybeans drop a few cents on the week as Chicago wheat gains a few.    
   # Soybeans started off strong before finishing about 10 cents off session highs. Buyers lacked a show of follow-through after three sessions of seeing nearby soybean futures trade above their 100-day moving average early before ultimately closing below the mark.        
   # Strong exports lent some support to corn futures.  New sales of nearly 46 million bushels were well above trade expectations.  And, recent daily flash sales should add up to a solid total next week.  Soybean sales were also pretty good at 36 million bushels.         
   # With drought having threatened palm oil production this year, buyers turn to the U.S. market for soyoil.  Export commitments are up more than 20 percent over last year.  Meanwhile, increased competition abroad has U.S. soymeal exports down about 20 percent on the year.      
   # Some action in the world trade market helped lend wheat some support.  Egypt purchased 235,000 metric tons from Russia, Romania, and France.  The bulls saw the tender as sign of life for world demand, even though U.S. wheat is still too expensive for the big buyers.                       
   # A falling ruble is helping Russia maintain good export prospects, with the currency having dropped to a record low against the dollar this week. Other currencies held by our competitors like Brazil and Argentina also remain historically weak against the dollar.     
   # Southern Brazil is to be watched as the weekend has hot, dry weather in store for growers there.  Temperatures could climb above 100 degrees.  The forecast leans wetter for the region next week.      
   # Data on December’s new home sales were strong and better than expected at an almost 15 percent year-on-year gain.  Equity traders were mostly focused on rallying oil and dovish comments from the ECB.    

***** Live cattle gain $1.27 to $2.67 as feeders jump by a little more than the expanded $4.50 limit; hogs down $0.60 to up $0.10.  ***** 

   # The Cattle on Feed report featured a few (bearish) surprises. Total on-feed were tallied at 10.573 million head, or right on par with last year.  The average trade estimate looked for a drop of 1 percent. December placements were 99 percent of the year prior, which was well above trade guesses. Marketings came in at 101 percent, or a little light compared to estimates.   
   # Some bear spreading defined the Friday trade for hog futures.  Wholesale pork prices were higher as of midday. The Cold Storage report counted 545.6 million pounds of pork in storage, above 503.79 million in 2014.