AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Thursday, February 25, 2016
***** Corn up fractionally at the break; soybeans 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 censt firmer; Chicago wheat higher by 3 to 4. *****
   # Grains traded tight ranges for most of the overnight session as traders waited for the weekly export sales report.  Outside markets are relatively quiet.  
   # New corn sales were solid if not a touch disappointing compared to trade estimates at 934,400 metric tons.  Soybeans were a little light at 328,000 mt.  Wheat sales of 387,900 mt were nothing to get excited about but did come in higher than they have in the past several weeks.  
   # Acres estimates will be reported from the Annual Outlook Forum today.  Analysts are all over the board with their expectations, but an average guess calls for about 1.5 million more corn acres and 0.7 million additional acres to beans.  Traders expect tomorrow’s numbers to include higher carryout projections for 2016/17 corn, soybean, and wheat crops.                             
   # Winter weather returned to the Midwest on Wednesday but storm that moved through the eastern half of the region brought much less snow than was anticipated.  Temperatures across the U.S. may warm back up to above normal before the first half of March sees the country split between warmer West and cooler East.         
   # The Corn Belt will go through the winter having enjoyed sufficient enough moisture.  No drought development is shown in the Midwest.  North Dakota is classified by the Drought Monitor as ‘abnormally dry,’ as is much of Texas.  Severe, long-term drought continues to burden the far West.    
   # It was another strong ethanol production report, which showed last week’s output running 5 percent higher on the year. Corn grind was 104.4 million bushels and well above the 98.6 million needed per week to meet the USDA’s current 5.225 billion bushel target.      
   # International equity markets were able to shrug off a hard drop for Chinese stocks.  Traders in the U.S. will digest some economic data today, including Jobless Claims that were high this week at 272,000.         

***** Cattle futures look to open with strength as lean hogs start steady/firmer.   *****

   # Futures traders are pricing in expectations for the cash cattle market to develop at higher prices this week.  Rising wholesale prices are underpinning the confidence.    
   # A technical game is being played out by hog traders.  Buyers fought off what looked to be a corrective turn lower and brought the April contract back quickly toward a test of last week’s $72.22 high.