AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Friday, February 26, 2016
***** Corn down fractionally at the break; soybeans up 1 to 2 cents; Chicago wheat higher by 1 to 1 1/2. ***** 

   # Grains trade steady overnight on light volume.  Outside markets are generally supportive.       
   # Corn futures are likely to remain on the defensive after the USDA projected that 2 million extra acres would be planted to the crop in 2016. More estimates from the Annual Outlook Forum will be reported today.     
   # Government analysts are not very aggressive on their early estimates for new-crop demand.  They suggest ethanol grind will go unchanged on the year while feed use and exports grow only marginally.  Soybean crush for 2016/17 is projected at 1.9 billion bushels versus 1.88 billion last year.  USDA says soybean exports could show some growth on the year.    
   # The International Grains Council released some new output estimates of their own on Thursday.  The group upped its world corn production forecast by 10 million metric tons to 969 mmt and also bumped up the wheat forecast slightly.  Both crops this year should be smaller than last year.                           
   # The 6-10 day outlook gives a cold and dry pattern for the U.S. Plains and Midwest.  Some moisture will be needed as the winter wheat crops begin to develop.  Snow could return to the Midwest early next week. 
   # No real weather worries to report for South America.  Warm weather in Russia/Ukraine combines with a good moisture bank to support winter wheat potential, but the lack of snow cover presents risk of winterkill should a cold spell come on.  Rain is falling in South Africa, but it is too little too late to save crops from drought damage done earlier. 
   # Global equity markets benefited from having a more favorable China storyline.  Policymakers in China show willingness to further stimulate the economy with central bank measures.  Strength in the oil market certainly helps as well.        

***** Cattle futures look to open with some strength but profit-taking may limit upside; hogs likely to head higher for a test of technical resistance.  ***** 

   # Traders will look to see how the cash market develops later today.  Expectations are for the bids at $133 live to come closer near the offers at $138.  April live cattle futures climbed to a one-month high on Thursday and have an important high of $138.95 just ahead.    
   # A slowing hog slaughter combined with steady wholesale prices help paint a friendly short-term fundamental picture.  The technicals still have plenty to say for short-run action with April futures nearing a test of the three-month high.