AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, March 04, 2016
***** Corn up 3/4 to 2 1/2 cents; soybeans rally 13 1/4 to 14 3/4; Chicago wheat up 1 to 1 1/2. ***** 

   # Grains settled higher all around.  Soybean led the way and were able to manage gains of 15 cents on the week.  Corn came off session highs and posted a slight loss for the week.  Wheat futures end firmer but did not clear last week’s highs.  
   # A crude oil rally helped shore up some confidence for commodities.  The bulls have optimism that OPEC producers will agree to output cuts when they meet again later this month.  WTI futures notched in fresh one-month highs on the move.    
   # A shoring up of confidence in emerging market economies has been notable over the past few weeks.  Traders were betting on a government shakeup in Brazil, leading the country’s real currency higher with a move that also helped U.S. soybean prices.  
   # Farmers are approaching planting season with good soil moisture levels and forecast for warm March/April/May temperatures.  Some states in the Midwest, like Iowa, tallied new multi-year moisture records this winter. Prevailing consensus has El Nino keeping weather wet and warm this spring.            
   # Buyers have so far been able to defend against short-sellers entrenched in a campaign to pull corn and soybeans down to new contract lows.  $3.50 and $8.50 hold up for now.  May corn was stopped just short of its 10-day moving average while the May bean contract ended the week with a close above its 50-day.   
   # USDA analysts update the balance sheets again on next Wednesday.  Traders look for 2014/15 corn carryout to rise about 20 million bushels over the February report.  The average guess is for soybean ending stocks to hold steady near 450 million bushels.    

***** Live cattle end $0.75 to $0.90 higher with feeders up $0.82 to $1.30; hogs gain $0.45 to $0.55. ***** 

   # Higher wholesale prices and thoughts that late-day cash sales would improve contributed to gains for cattle futures.   
   # Broad ag market strength lent support to hogs.  Cash and wholesale prices were both a touch lower to end the week.