AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, February 04, 2016
***** Corn futures down 2 1/2 cents; soybeans down 2 1/4; Chicago wheat lower by 6 to 7 1/4. ***** 

   # A weaker dollar failed to spark much enthusiasm for commodity buyers.  Grains were put back on the defensive after mid-morning gains faded.   
   # Report day would likely be a quiet one if analysts are correct in their carryout estimates.  Those polled by Reuters look for very little change from the January USDA report on both U.S. and world ending stocks projections. The WASDE report is scheduled for February 9th at 11:00 a.m. central.    
   # Weekly export sales data were bearish for beans with net-cancellations of 1.6 million bushels. Even taking into account the large cancellation from China last week, traders were still looking for the number to be slightly positive. Corn sales were surprisingly strong at nearly 45 million bushels.     
   # Brazil’s crop agency, Conab, came out with some updated production estimates for the country.  Output projections for both corn and soybeans were revised lower to 83.3 million metric tons and 100.9 mmt, respectively.  The adjusted estimates are still higher than the USDA’s 81.5 and 100.  
   # March corn futures slipped back below their 10-day moving average but held support from the 50-day.  March soybeans fell under a converging pair of 20- and 50-day moving averages.  Buyers continue to thin out as corn approaches $3.75 and soybeans $8.90.    
   # World weather is mostly benign this week. This week’s winter storm in the West was less severe than had been fear.  Temperatures are not so cold as to be much of a threat to U.S. winter wheat crops.  Scattered showers are popping up across South American growing regions, but we’ll watch to see if a dry forecast for Argentina comes to fruition next week.    
   # Action was choppy for oil futures as WTI crude traded both higher and lower within a $2 range. Uncertainty remains over whether or not any sort of production cuts will come out of an OPEC/Russia meeting.    
   # U.S. equities indexes also traded both sides of unchanged.  Data on jobless claims and service-sector activity were disappointing this morning.  Traders will dissect the monthly unemployment report tomorrow to try to clue in on what the numbers mean for central bank policy.      

***** Live cattle down $0.47 to up $0.15 as feeders drop $1.05 to $1.60; hogs gain $0.20 to $0.60 per hundredweight. ***** 

   # Cattle futures fail to hold mid-session gains but selling pressure was limited in afternoon trading hours.  Cash bids are showing up around $136, creating some optimism over prices being able to keep up with last week’s gains.  April live futures keep technical support from their 100-day moving average.  
   # Hog futures moved higher as traders were betting on the cash market holding recent gains.  Midday cutout values were lower.  Futures continue trending upward on the charts.