AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Monday, February 29, 2016
***** Corn down 1 to 2 1/2 cents; soybeans off 2 to 2 1/2; Chicago wheat up 1/4 to 1 3/4. ***** 

   # Another down day makes five in a row for corn futures and six straight losers for soybeans. Outside market influences were mostly a wash with higher oil offset by equity weakness and a firm dollar.  
   # Bearish fund traders look to be in control of the market, using a hefty net-short position to try and pull grain futures to new contract lows.  Bearish has been the best bet for traders while the market has been lacking of any strong-demand or concerning-weather storylines.     
   # Estimates peg the Brazilian soybean harvest at a third done, which is just a touch ahead of the usual pace for this time of the year.  Yields are reportedly good.  Scattered showers have helped late-filling crops and early development of the second corn crop, but have been a worry for some growers ready to harvest soybeans in the South.    
   # Weekly corn shipments were fully anticipated at 29 million bushels.  Cumulative inspections run 21 percent behind the year-ago total. Soybean exports were 38 million bushels comparted to 24 million a year ago.  Total shipments run 8 percent behind last year’s pace.       
   # The grains failed to find support from growing optimism over the health of China’s economy.  The People’s Bank of China lowered the reserve ratio requirement on Monday to help stimulate lending.  USDA said last week that Chinese soy demand would grow this year, but not by the pace enjoyed in recent years.    
   # Outside of some related disruptions to a currently ahead-of-pace Brazilian harvest, weather leans negative for grain prices.  A warm two weeks is forecasted for much of the U.S. while precipitation chances increase late in the outlook.  No major issues involving Black Sea or European wheat crops are drawing much attention from the trade.   

***** Live cattle finish fractionally mixed as feeders gain $0.22 to $0.77; hog futures decline $0.05 to $0.87 with relative weakness in the front. ​*****

   # Better boxed beef prices helped support cattle futures to start the week.  There is little consensus yet on what to expect out of the cash market this week.  April futures are hovering up near resistance from the $138.95 high achieved on December 30th.     
   # Traders were seen taking profits on hogs, exiting their bullish bets as futures show signs of losing technical momentum.  Firm wholesale prices will help keep support under the market.