AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Monday, March 28, 2016
***** Corn futures settle fractionally firmer; soybeans lose 1 1/2 to 1 3/4; Chicago wheat rallies 6 3/4 to 8. ***** 

   # Weather was the primary focus of grain traders to start the week.  Focus should shift quickly to Thursday’s Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports.  Technical action will help weather give some guidance to futures before then.   
   # Wheat in the Plains is threatened by weather that has been dry enough to fuel a severe wildfire in Kansas.  High winds are expected to stick around into midweek and could cause further spread of the blaze.    
   # While dry weather is the worry for hard red winter wheat in the Plains, cold temperatures are a threat to soft red crops in the Midwest.  The first week of April could bring with it a cold snap that sends temperatures up 20 degrees below normal.
   # The two week forecast provides good chance for an early kickoff to planting in the Midwest.  More rain could fall during the middle of this week before weather starts to lean drier.  Heavier rains could disrupt planting effort in the Delta.  
   # Nearby corn futures tested but could not settle above their 100-day moving average.  The best trade of the session matched the March 17 high of $3.72.  May soybeans closed lower after notching in a new three-month high early in the session.  Chicago wheat futures came off of intraday highs but recaptured support from the May contract’s 20- and 50-day moving averages.      
   # Export shipments were down on the week for corn at 38.5 million bushels but came in ahead of the year-ago total (30 mbu).  Soybean inspections were down on the week and year to 21 million bushels.  Cumulative soybean shipments are 6.5 percent behind the year-ago pace but the USDA is projecting an 8.3 percent reduction in final exports. 
   # Outside markets were a limited influence for the grains to start the week.  U.S. equities lacked direction as traders remain uncertain over prospects for interest rates.  Oil futures were choppy as the bulls and bears went at it over technical positioning.  Dollar index futures were lower after a five-session climb.  

***** April live cattle down $0.75 with summer contracts up $0.15 to $0.52; feeders end fractionally lower; hogs gain $0.30 to $1.75. ***** 

   # Cattle futures were holding on to technical support and benefiting from some light buying encouraged by higher beef prices. The midday cutout report had choice beef up $1.12 and select higher by $1.94.  There is uncertainty over what to expect out of this week’s cash market after prices fell moderately last week.  
   # Hog futures moved higher as traders priced in numbers from Friday’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.  The fresh headcount reinforces ideas that summer supplies will tighten.  Higher wholesale prices helped out as well.