AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, February 26, 2016
***** Corn down a penny; soybean futures down 1 to 4; Chicago wheat lower by 1 to 2. ***** 

   # Corn futures lost 11 cents on the week as soybeans sunk more than 20. Chicago wheat made new lows and dropped 18 cents over five sessions.       
   # Trade talk this week was dominated by new-crop estimates reported from the USDA Annual Outlook Forum.  Corn acres are projected to rise by 2 million bushels on the year with corn carryout expected to fall just short of 2 billion bushels.  Fewer acres and solid soybean demand estimates allowed the forecast 2016/17 carryout to drop marginally but not by enough to get buyers excited.   
   # While wheat was making new lows, corn and soybean futures re-approached old contract bottoms.  Market participants will look to see if $3.50 and $8.50 prop up the front of the corn and soybean curves.  Bearish weekly reversals resulted from contracts slipping below their major moving averages.  
   # Weather remains a bearish influence as small winter storms pop up and bring moisture to the much of the United States.  South American farmers are enjoying favorable growing conditions and enough time under clear skies to make good harvest progress.  No major weather worries currently exist for growing regions in Europe or the Black Sea.     
   # Dollar strength helped suppress buying interest for the grains this week.  Economy concerns in Europe have the pound and euro weaker.  Dovish central banks in Asia weigh on the yen.  A downgrade for Brazil’s sovereign debt pressures the real currency.        
   # U.S. stocks reversed lower after oil gains were not sustained.  Traders were also pricing in a greater chance that the Federal Reserve would like the stronger growth and inflation numbers from this week and would be more willing to consider a March interest rate hike.  

***** Live cattle settle off the day’s highs near unchanged as feeders decline $0.10 to $0.60; hog futures down $0.02 to up $0.35 per hundredweight. ***** 

   # Early cattle gains faded when traders couldn’t get a good read on where cash prices would land. Bids had inched up to $135 by midday, but sellers were holding out for $138.                   
   # Hogs were fractionally mixed on some bear spreading as near-run cash expectations turn less optimistic.  April hogs are facing formidable technical resistance from the February 18 high but keep support from their major moving averages.