AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Monday, March 28, 2016
***** Corn down 1 1/2 at the break; soybeans off fractionally; Chicago wheat higher by 2 1/2. *****

   # Traders are positioning themselves in anticipation of this Thursday’s Prospective Plantings report.  Industry experts look for corn acres to climb 2 million acres above last year’s 88 million.  Some analysts look for a reduction in soybean acres, others an increase.  The average estimate calls for soybean acres to rise to 83 million from 82.7 in 2015.    
   # Analysts expect corn stocks to be up over last year’s record to something near 7.8 billion bushels.  The average guess for March 1 soybeans stocks is 1.557 billion with the expectation of around 1.54 billion bushels of wheat.
   # Technical momentum is fading somewhat for corn futures.  May corn is struggling to find substantial buying interest as the contract approaches its 100-day moving average.  Soybeans fare better on the charts after nearby futures cleared resistance from last week’s high during overnight trading.
   # Fund traders were seen covering shorts during the last few weeks.  The CFTC report showed funds lowering their net-corn short to 154,369 contracts with more buying observed after the official reporting week closed on Tuesday. The large speculators were adding fresh longs to their soybean holding, which is now estimated to be more than 50,000 contracts to the net-bullish side.       
   # Sunday’s update to the National Weather Service models has the 6-10 day outlook leaning cool and dry.  A dry forecast will remain a threat for winter wheat crops while potentially providing an early start to planting season in the Midwest.  
   # Dollar index futures are steady overnight.  Recent dollar strength has been a headwind for the commodity market.  Action in the dollar continues to reflect traders’ views on the direction of global interest rates.   
   # U.S. stock index futures were a touch higher overnight as traders priced in Friday’s numbers on GDP and corporate earnings.  GDP was revised up from 1 to 1.4 percent for the fourth quarter.  Corporate earnings were down by a rough 11.5 percent, damaged in part by falling revenues for the energy companies.  

***** Live cattle futures look to steady as bulls bid to keep technical support; Hogs look to start with some buying interest. *****

   # Cash cattle values moved lower at the end of last week as traders priced in falling wholesale prices.  Market participants expect to see a lull in demand after the early Easter holiday and ahead of the start to grilling season.  
   # The quarterly Hogs and Pigs report tallied All Hogs at 100.4 percent with the Breeding number at 100 percent and Marketing at 100 percent.  The latter two estimates fell a touch short of pre-report expectations, so the report leans slightly friendly for the market.