AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, April 07, 2016
***** Corn futures up 2 3/4 to 3 1/2 cents; soybeans drop 2 3/4 to 3 1/2; Chicago wheat down a nickel.  ***** 

   # Today featured more unwinding of the long-soy/short-corn spreads.  Corn futures now maintain a gain of 7 1/2 cents through the first four days of the week.  Soybeans are off 14 1/4 so far on the week.
   # Trading volume remains high for corn futures after last Thursday’s crop report.  Volume was estimated to be just short of 500,000 contracts today.  Average daily volume for corn is approximately 332,000 contracts so far in 2016.  Soybean volume was slightly above the current year’s daily average at about 240,000 contracts today.
   # Wheat had another ugly session as traders bet that winter wheat crop conditions would continue to improve.  There was some added pessimism coming from the demand side after the export report listed a negative sales number.
   # It helped corn that this morning’s export sales were improved over the previous week’s disappointing tally.  Cumulative sales total 92 percent of a year ago and are now exactly on pace to meet the USDA marketing year goal.  A sale of 145,544 tons to Japan was also reported this morning.  
   # The soybean market has felt some pressure from traders who think that planted acres will end up rising above the 82.2 million acres listed on last week’s Prospective Plantings report.  Recent soybean price strength and corn price weakness helps back up that idea, as do disruptions to corn planting efforts in the South.  
   # The United Nations issued a report on prices and production of world cereal grains.  Food prices were up slightly on the strength of sugar and cooking oil components.  The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization looks for world food grain production in 2016/17 to hold about steady with last year. 
   # U.S. stocks were weaker as the friendly expectations for continued low interest rates is more than offset by the economic growth worries that lead to that low interest rate promise.       

***** Live cattle finish higher by $0.27 to $0.40 as feeders end steady to $0.97 higher; hog futures down $0.37 to up $0.27. *****

   # Some cash cattle sales were done at levels only steady with last week but slightly better than early-week deals.  Wholesale prices were mostly lower on the day to help limit buyer enthusiasm.         
   # More of the same for hog futures today with bear spreading again a primary feature of the trade.  Cash and wholesale markets took on a lower tone and offset early technical buying for futures.