AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
***** Corn down 2 to 2 1/4 cents; soybean futures off fractionally; Chicago wheat lower by 4 to 5. *****

   # Another down day for the grains with technical pressure and weight from outside markets the primary drags.  
   # Thursday and Friday promise some excitement as traders will get to take a look at estimates from the USDA’s Annual Outlook Forum.  Acres predictions will garner the most attention, but projections for demand are also sure to stir some discussion.    
   # Fund traders are playing a sizable role in this week’s weak grain markets. The large speculators maintain hold of a record net-short on the agricultural commodities.  It will become important to monitor whether or not the strength of the position is enough to pull corn and soybean futures down below old contract lows, where selling pressure has dried up in recent past.
   # Weather remains somewhat of a negative.  Wet weather brought in from this week’s winter storm is helping to relieve growers of some moisture worries that had been developing.  Favorable conditions are reported for harvest efforts in South America.  
   # Export sales will be traded tomorrow morning.  A string of daily corn sales have analysts looking for new bookings near 1 million metric tons this week.  Soybean sales estimates that range from 300-700 mmt compare with 567 mmt achieved last week.  There’s little hope for a strong wheat number.  
   # Equity markets reversed course after oil losses were erased.  There was talk of strife among OPEC members over production targets and a Saudi official commented that his country would do little to stop a slide under $20.  Both markets will likely remain volatile as long as concerns about deteriorating global economy health build.  

***** Live cattle trade $0.30 lower to $0.52 higher as feeders gain $0.75 to $1.22; hog futures up $0.42 to $1.42. *****

   # Strength in the wholesale market remained a supportive feature for the cattle trade today.  Choice and select cuts were up a respective $2.27 and $1.15 after gains of more than $2 for both on Tuesday.               
   # Hog worked higher despite a bearish lean to Tuesday’s Cold Storage report.  Supplies still run high but are expected to tighten into the spring and summer months.