AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, April 01, 2016
***** Corn futures settle higher by 1 to 2 1/2 cents; soybeans up 7 1/2 to 8 1/4; Chicago what up 2 1/4. *****
   # Corn futures were pressured from some follow-through selling at the start but recovered late in the day to settle higher.  Soybeans were moderately higher through most of the session and enjoyed a spur of additional buying in the last five minutes of trading.  Chicago wheat futures were down as much as a nickel at the start before climbing back to unchanged for the day.  
   # Buyers were able to defend an old corn low futures low of $3.46 1/2.  Below that August 2015 low, futures would struggle to find much chart support before reaching an October 2014 low of $3.18 1/4. May soybeans surpassed key resistance from $9.18 on their way to making a new three-month high.  Nearby Chicago wheat futures face technical resistance from their 100-day moving average that sits a few pennies ahead of the current market.    
   # Bearish fund traders lacked much of punch after re-extending themselves on the short side of corn yesterday.  The large speculators are back to having a net-short on corn that approaches 200,000 contracts.  New buyers continue to enter the mix in the soy market with funds long soybeans and soyoil.  
   # There were a few new world crop production estimates out today.  International Grains Council upped its 2015/16 grain output forecast by 4 million metric tons and kept its projection for 2016/17 stocks high at 466 million metric tons.
   # Buenos Aires Grain Exchange came up with a higher Argentine soybean production estimate on their latest update.  The analysts there look for a 60 million metric ton crop versus the USDA’s March estimate of 58.5.  
   # Rising estimates for crop production in Argentina are a result of favorable weather conditions that are also benefitting Brazil.  The country’s second corn crop – which makes up the bulk of exports – is off to a good start after rainfall totals were abundant in March.
   # Stocks were up after the jobs report featured better-than-expected payroll gains.  Nonfarm payrolls were up 215,000 in March.  The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.  The dollar was steady as traders were not convinced that the report was strong enough to encourage the Fed to become any less dovish on its interest rate stance.    

***** Live cattle finish fractionally lower as feeders drop $0.05 to $0.55; hog futures down $0.55 to $1.72. ***** 

   # Cattle futures were on the defensive as wholesale prices and cash bids moved lower.  Futures face additional pressure from technical traders now that the curve has lost support from the 100-day moving average.     
   # Traders were surprised to see cash hog prices drop like they did this week and responded by rushing for the exits and liquidated long futures.