AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, April 21, 2016
***** Corn settled lower by a dime; soybeans down 1 1/4 to up 9 cents with relative strength in the front contracts; Chicago wheat down 8 to 9. *****

   # Another active day for the grains with heavy volume and wide trading ranges.  Corn finished near session lows while soybeans finished in the middle of their range. 
   # Grains continue to trade at record levels.  Market participants will keep a close eye on open interest after it increased for corn yesterday and declined for both soybeans and wheat.  CBOT reports preliminary open interest and volume numbers each morning for the previous day’s session.   
   # Funds were small net buyers of soybean futures; spreading activity continued to be featured. The large speculators came into the day holding a net-long on soybeans somewhere in the order of 175,000 contracts.  
   # Grain export sales were solid all around this week.  New bookings for corn, wheat, and soybeans all beat expectations. Another 240,000 metric ton corn sale to Japan was announced this morning, 180,000 for 2015/16 and 60,000 for 2016/17.
   # Planting in Southern Illinois was disrupted with yesterday’s rain, but the weekend is clear for most throughout the state.  Both the National Weather Service’s 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks lean warm and wet for the Midwest.
   # Soyoil was down on the day despite strength observed through the rest of the complex.  Traders look to be unwinding long-oil/short-meal spreads.  El Nino’s exit diminishes some of the tailwind for the edible oil market while wet weather in Argentina has traders thinking the country will be less of a competitor for U.S. soymeal exporters.  
   # Stats Canada has the country’s wheat acres falling further in 2016.  Global wheat acres are falling on decreased profitability for producers growing the grain. 
   # Today’s move had nearby corn futures giving up support from the 200-day moving average.  Still, it makes for only two down days through the first three weeks of April. May soybeans continue to trade with heightened volatility and settled outside the upper Bollinger Band for a third straight day. 
   # There was profit-taking by oil traders after WTI futures reached their 200-day moving average.  Market participants are eager to see how gasoline consumption will shape up as we enter the summer driving season.     

***** Live cattle finish fractionally lower, feeders fractionally higher; hog futures down $0.20 to up $0.32. *****

   # Beef production remains high and demand somewhat soft. Boxed beef was off $1.06 for select, $0.91 choice as of midday.  Bids are soft in the cash market relative to last week.   
   # Hog futures were mixed with the June contract finding support from the 100-day moving average but resistance from the 20-day.  The trade is choppy with the bears focusing on plentiful supplies on hand and the bulls with expectations of a tighter summer balance.