AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, March 24, 2016
***** Corn up 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 on Friday, up 3 on the week; soybean futures up a nickel on Friday, up 13 on the week; Chicago wheat was steady on the session, steady on the week. ​*****

   # Corn and soybean futures finished higher despite the softness featured throughout most of the commodity space.  It helped that crude oil was able to bounce from session lows while the dollar index turned off its highs.  
   # In a change of pace from recent weeks, meal futures led the soy complex higher.  An outstanding sales total of 468,700 metric tons was reported on the weekly export report.  The Philippines was a buyer of nearly half of the total.       
   # Corn sales were not so hot.  31.6 million bushels was a disappointment relative to expectations.  The number was offset somewhat by a flash sale of 260,000 bushels of corn headed to Taiwan for 2015/16.  New soybean sales were a little light at 15.1 million bushels.  
   # Weekly ethanol production remained strong this week.  It was down just a touch on what was a solid week last week.  Corn grind was 104.5 million bushels relative to a required 97.7 million bushels needed per week to meet the USDA’s current 5.225 billion bushel target.            
   # The Brazilian real fell further against the dollar.  Continued currency weakness would give the South American exporter a leg up against competitors at a time when growers in Brazil are in the process of hauling in another large soybean crop.           
   # Estimates for next week’s quarterly Grain Stocks report are circulating.  The average trade guess calls for corn stocks to grow on last year’s level, to 7.798 billion bushels.  Analysts’ predictions for soybean stocks range from 1.425 to 1.611 billion bushels.                        
   # Traders look for corn acres to rise 2 million acres over last year to 90 million, which is on par with the USDA’s estimate from the February Outlook Forum.  Estimates are all over the board for soybean acres with some looking for a drop of up to 1 million and those at the other end of the extreme looking for a gain of 1.5 million.
   # Egypt’s latest wheat tender closed with the top-importer purchasing only one cargo of French wheat.  The latest few tenders have been met with only limited interest from sellers after Egypt has rejected shipments because of quality qualms.            
   # U.S. equities were mostly lower in late-afternoon trading, but the major indexes bounced well off of session lows.  A mild intraday recovery for commodities helped out.  Traders did not want to make big bets on one direction or the other until they got to take a look at Friday’s GDP and corporate earnings data.       

***** Live cattle futures gain $0.27 to $0.82 as feeders settle up $0.27 to $0.67; April hogs steady as deferred months finish lower by $1.60 to $1.92. ​*****

   # Cattle futures were fractionally higher on the session as traders reasoned that the board had already moved lower by enough to price in expectations for cash market slippage.  Some light dressed sales were reported at $2.18 while sellers were passing over live bids near $136.  
   # The quarterly Hogs and Pigs report will be issued tomorrow when the market is closed.  Analysts expect to see the ‘all hogs’ inventory growing just slightly from a year ago to 67.6 million head.  Farrowing intentions for the next two quarters should be about steady with those in the year prior.