AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
***** Corn futures down 1 1/2 to 2 cents; soybeans off 4 1/4 to 5; Chicago wheat finishes lower by 3 3/4.  ***** 

   # The session ended similar to way it started, with most commodities pressured by a broad but moderate risk-off trade that spread through major markets.  A stronger dollar also helped to weigh on commodities.
   # Trading volume is somewhat light for the grains as fresh news proves limited during this holiday-shortened week.  Most markets – grains included – will be closed for Good Friday.  
   # Soybean futures held psychologically-important support from $9 but traded an ‘inside day,’ with the session’s highs and lows staying within yesterday’s range and indicating some potential exhaustion on the part of buyers.  Nearby corn futures face resistance from the 100-day moving average but settled above the 50-day.
   # The weather story remains the same as wheat growers in the Southern Plains brace for cold temperatures.  Dry weather is also still a worry for the regions and no major rain event is expected over the next 6-10 days.  
   # Dry weather in Argentina seems to be welcomed by growers because the clear skies are not accompanied by high heat.  It should be wetter in Brazil this week where growers will face some minor harvest delays.  
   # Soyoil futures were the worst performer of the soy complex today.  A lower close made for the first after eight straight gainers.  Palm oil and canola oil were also lower as traders took profits on overbought market conditions.     
   # Gold took a plunge as traders question their earlier thoughts on a dovish Federal Reserve.  Talk from the Fed members this week suggested rates could rise in the second quarter.  The added – and related – pressure of a strong dollar helped to cut gold prices by nearly $25 an ounce.  
   # Economists will dissect some data on 4th Quarter GDP and corporate earnings on Friday.  The revised number should show the economy having grown by one percent.  Business earnings may have dropped up to 10 percent year-on-year in the 4th quarter. 

***** Live cattle finish $0.57 to $1.05 lower with feeders giving up $0.75 to $1.30; April hogs down $0.47 with deferred contracts fractionally changed. *****

   # Cattle futures followed beef prices lower as the wholesale market failed to find support from yesterday’s Cold Storage report.  The report showed beef stocks falling in the month of February and down fractionally on the year.  The slightly-tighter stocks situation should eventually come to support the market as we enter the summer months.  
   # The friendly Cold Storage report was able to offset negative outside market influences for hogs.  Pork stocks fell 8.4 percent from the year-ago tally.  Buyers will remain hesitant ahead of Friday’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.