AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Thursday, March 31, 2016
***** Corn down fractionally; soybeans up fractionally; Chicago wheat down a penny. ​*****

   # Report Day.  Quarterly Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports will be issued by the USDA at 11:00 a.m. central.  Analysts look for corn stocks near 7.8 billion bushels, soybeans around 1.56 billion, and wheat close to 1.36.  The average guess for corn acres is 90 million, soybeans 83, and wheat 51.5.        
   # Fund traders are going into the report with bearish corn and wheat bets, bullish soybean wagers.  The large speculators hold a net-short corn position of approximately 75,000 corn contracts and a net-short wheat of around 100,000.  The soybean net-long should be something just north of 50,000 contracts.  
   # Wednesday’s action was undoing of some recently-bullish technical achievements.  May corn futures gave up their 100-day moving average and could now head for a test of support near $3.62.  Soybeans still have the support of their major moving averages but are losing momentum.    
   # Soyoil futures were finding moderate buying interest overnight despite having no help from the Asian palm oil market.  The bullish edible oils storylines remain, but a technically-overbought market and changing currency terms are seen as a headwind in the near-term.   
   # Rain fell over some of the dry parts of the Southern Plains last night.  Totals were locally heavier in the southeast areas of Kansas and Oklahoma.  Most of the Midwest was covered with totals of up to 3 inches in central Illinois through the last 24 hours.
   # Growers in the Delta will face further planting delays after Wednesday’s storms.  The region should have a dry couple of days before rain enters the picture again next week.  
   # Temperatures in Brazil and Argentina are heating up this week, but not likely by enough to serve much of a threat to crops yet.  Dry weather will be conducive to harvest efforts there. 
   # Outside markets are rather calm overnight.  Oil futures have corrected back over a six-session slide and are in the process of losing technical support. U.S. stock index future were steady for most of the overnight session, but traders will now digest a Jobless Claims report that was weaker than expected.        

***** Live cattle should attempt a slight rebound at the open; same for hog futures. *****

   # Cattle futures are under pressure as traders look for the exits ahead of expected seasonal weakness.  Wholesale prices tumbled on Wednesday as buyers look for demand to slow ahead of the pre-summer season.  There is little optimism that the cash trade will do any better than the $136 live achieved last week and in light volume so far this week.           
   # April hog futures are slipping under the pressure of a weaker cash market.  Traders are using the opportunity to take profits on recent gains, which has also resulted in a negative shift for the technicals.  The summer contracts continue to hold up better.