AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Friday, January 22, 2016
***** Corn futures trade 3 cents higher ahead of the break; soybean futures up 5 to 6; Chicago wheat up 1 1/2. *****
   # The major markets are higher all around this morning, led by strength in the crude oil market.  Stock traders have renewed confidence that Chinese and European governments will enact measures of market intervention and monetary stimulus.  
   # Weekly export sales were strong for corn and soybeans.  New corn commitments at 45.7 million bushels were well above the average trade guess of 30 million.  Soybean sales totaled 36 million bushels, near the top end of analysts’ predictions.  Wheat sales were so-so at 13 million.                  
   # There is plenty of uncertainty over what to expect out of the 2016 row crop planting mix.  The annual Farm Futures survey pegged corn acres at 89.5 million acres, soybeans at 82.2.  Informa’s recent predictions had corn acres at 88.9 million and soybeans at 85.2.  Corn and soybean plantings were 88 and 82.7 million acres in 2015. 
   # The situation is dire in South Africa, where severe drought has cut the country’s corn crop potential by at least a third. Government officials have suggested that imports will have to total around 5-6 million metric tons this year, which would be much higher than the USDA’s current estimate for South African imports of 1.5 mmt. 
   # Palm oil markets continue to rally as traders price in drought damage done by El Nino and as they start to worry about the flooding that could follow if a La Nina event develops.  Better Asian palm oil prices have U.S. soyoil prices the leader of the complex overnight.    
   # A strong winter storm is still forecasted for the northeastern U.S. this weekend. In fact, it has developed strongly enough already for it to have a name – Jonas.  A blizzard warning now encompasses the stretch from Washington DC through Philadelphia to New York City.  Those cities are expecting at least one foot of snow.      
***** Cattle and hogs likely to start steady to firmer in continuation of yesterday’s strength.   ***** 

   # Expanded limits for cattle futures today as traders position themselves ahead of this afternoon’s Cattle on Feed report.  Total on-feed is expected to come in near 99 percent of a year ago.  Placements are predicted around 95 percent and marketings at 102 percent.    
   # Hogs continue to run higher as futures take advantage of strong technical momentum and a shift toward bullish fundamentals.  Pork prices remain strong and will continue to help guide the futures after traders digest this afternoon’s Cold Storage report.