AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, April 14, 2016
***** Corn up 1/2 to 1 1/2; soybeans down 6 3/4 to 8 1/4 cents; Chicago wheat fractionally changed. *****

   # Fresh news was limited but the grain trade was active nonetheless. Corn and wheat futures clawed back losses by midday while soybeans made session lows into the closing bell.  
   # With limited news, it was largely a technical trade today.  Soybean futures registered overbought after yesterday’s strong move up and returned to the upper Bollinger band.  A retracement for soybeans would have the May contract first testing support from $9.20.  May corn had an inside day on the charts and so will have yesterday’s $3.74 3/4 stand as resistance.
   # Fund positioning remains a major focus of the week.  Managed money has been seen covering corn and wheat shorts while adding to bullish soybean bets.  Index funds are taking part in the action and are said to have stepped into the ag markets as they pick up commodities to serve as a hedge against their inflation expectations.    
   # Corn and soybean exports were better than expected this week.  New corn sales for 2015/16 tallied 44.7 million bushels while soybean bookings were 16.7 million.  
   # The NOPA crush report is schedule for Friday.  Traders expect March soybean crush to be up on the month, down on the year at around 156 million bushels.  USDA did not adjust its 1.87 billion bushel crush target on this month’s WASDE, although many traders still expect the number to come down.  
   # Upside for the wheat market is still limited by forecasts that bring rain to Southern Plains this weekend.  Winter crops are threatened by a spreading drought in the region. 
   # The weather forecast also limited some potential enthusiasm in the corn market because it features what looks to be a wide open window for the start of planting in the Midwest.  
   # Stock traders were reluctant to pick a side and so the major indexes were choppy.  There is thought that China and other emerging market economies are performing better than had been anticipated at the beginning of the year.  All the while, there is some pessimism surrounding the state of the U.S. economy as we start to sift through 1st quarter corporate earnings reports.            

***** Live cattle fractionally weaker on the session as feeders finish fractionally firmer; hogs up $0.27 to down $0.97. *****

   # There is a surprising reluctance on the part of cattle bulls to jump into the futures trade despite very strong gains made in the wholesale market this week.  The midday cutout report had values up $1.81 for choice, $2.43 for select.  Cash bids are starting to surface around $132 live with the market expected to become more active on Friday.             
   # Hog slaughter is up and expected to continue rising into next week.  Pressure on the cash and wholesale markets extends into the futures curve, which is also down on technical selling.