AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Friday, February 19, 2016
***** Corn and wheat trade steady as soybeans take on a slightly weaker bias.  Fresh news is limited as traders await the weekly export sales report.  Outside markets are quiet and give little guidance to the grains.​ *****

   # Traders are taking note of the many boats lined up to load grain in Brazil.  The logistical delays in Brazil could add to improved near-term U.S. price spreads to give the U.S. some increased trade business. 
   # It’s a quiet trade for the dollar against most currencies overnight.  A strong dollar remains a headwind for U.S. grain export programs, but the currency may weaken as traders price in a changing outlook for interest rates.  Dollar index futures are down about 3 percent in February.      
   # Soyoil futures face pressure from weaker palm oil markets and lead the soy complex lower overnight.  Palm oil traders were seen taking profits ahead of data on Malaysian exports.                   
   # Ethanol production was up on the week and caused inventories to build to a new record level.  Even so, cheaper prices at the pump seem to have spurred demand with gasoline consumption up 4.5 percent on the year. Export markets are also picking up some of the remaining slack.    
   # Funds were back to being sellers on Thursday.  After covering shorts early in the week, the large spec crowd is estimated to be net-short just under 100,000 contracts of corn.  Fund traders still hold bearish bets on soybeans and wheat, somewhere in the order of 60,000 and 80,000 contracts, respectively.    
   # U.S. stocks index futures are moderately lower overnight as they take cue from weaker European markets.  Stock traders in Europe are a little skittish as they ponder the possibility of the U.K. dropping out of the European Union.  U.S. traders will have some guidance of their own when numbers on inflation come out.  

***** Livestock futures look to open steady/firmer as both cattle and hogs build on technical support.  *****

   # Time for a Cattle on Feed report again.  Last one leaned negative when placements came in higher than anticipated.  Total on-feed is expected to match last year.  Analysts call for placements near 99 percent and marketings around 98.5.       
   # A weaker turn for wholesale prices helps to pressure hog futures.  Pork production increased week-on-week but remains slightly lower year-to-date.  Overbought technicals also help to encourage profit-taking.