AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, February 19, 2016
***** Corn futures unchanged on the day; soybeans down 2 to 2 1/4 cents Chicago wheat down 1/2 to 1 1/2. *****

   # A holiday-shortened week ended with a quiet Friday for the grains.  The session’s ranges were less than 3 cents for corn futures, 5 cents for soybeans, 4 for Chicago wheat.  Oil and equities were lower but weren’t thought to have placed much pressure on grains.  
   # It wasn’t a bullish day technically for corn or soybeans.  March corn futures did manage to hold even with its 50-day moving average at settlement time.  March beans dipped back below their 100-day moving average and are seeing momentum fade as futures approach an important test of resistance from $8.90.
   # At 41.4 million bushels, weekly corn sales were about 8 million higher than the average trade guess.  New soybean sales of 20.8 million were fully anticipated.    
   # The Midwest will have a warm weekend before the 6-10 day forecast has temperatures falling back below normal late in the outlook period. The temperature variation leaves winter wheat growers with some slight condition worry. Both the 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts lean drier than average.    
   # The USDA released some long-term agricultural projections this week.  Some notable findings include a call for corn and soybean acres to fall by 2025 while prices for the two commodities rise only moderately.    
   # Traders await some important numbers from the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum due out next week.  The market will price in a first-look at estimates for 2016/17 row crop acres.
   # Weaker oil weighed on the broad commodity space which in turn helped pressure global equity markets.  Some worry about the U.K. leaving the European Union didn’t help matters.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading for January was unchanged.  Low inflation is viewed to be a sign of struggle for the U.S. economy.  

***** Live cattle end fractionally firmer as feeders drop $0.47 to $1.20; hog futures down $0.80 to $1.82. *****

   # Wholesale prices were lower on the day.  Cash markets were quiet as of midday.  No big surprises were caused by the Cattle on Feed report.  Total on-feed was 100 percent of the year ago total.  Placements came in as expected at 99.4 percent while marketings were also fully anticipated at 97.8 percent.            
   # Traders rushed to take profits on hog futures as they observed wholesale prices slipping further.  The afternoon’s Commitments of Traders report found managed money adding considerable length to their bullish hog bets during the last reporting week.