AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, May 20, 2016
***** Corn futures settle higher by 1 to 4 1/2; July soybeans up 2 3/4, November down 4; Chicago wheat down 1/4 to 1. ***** 

   # Soymeal was the talk of the trade this week.  July meal futures made new contract highs while the rest of the complex was trading softer.  Speculators have been heavy meal buyers on the idea that a reduced crop in Argentina will send business back to U.S. exporters.  
   # The soybean spreads were active with traders buying the old-crop and selling the new-crop contracts.  Bull spreading within the futures curve was a product of the sharp rally for nearby meal futures.      
   # Sugar prices reached a fresh one-year high on analysts’ expectations for tightening supplies.  Corn traders will keep an eye on sugar production because of the two commodities’ substitutability in ethanol production.  
   # Traders were back to betting on acres switching as the weekend forecast included rain for Eastern Corn Belt.  Farmers in Indiana and Ohio have faced planting delays and could become forced to forgo corn plantings in favor of soybeans. The acres talk helped keep pressure on new-crop soybean futures while the July contract was gaining strength.  
   # Corn finds some underlying support from this week’s strong export data.  Thursday’s sales report featured solid numbers for both the old- and new-crop books.  The weekly update was followed on Friday by a daily sales announcement of 125,000 tons headed for Columbia in 2015/16.  
   # CFTC counted fund traders having held about steady during the last reporting week with a net-long corn position of about 50,000 futures and options contracts.  The large speculators did not add new longs to the soybean position as expected.  

***** Live cattle down $0.40 to $0.82 as feeders finish fractionally mixed; hog futures down $0.52 to $0.82.  *****

   # Cattle futures started with pressure from weaker cash deals made on Thursday.  The Cattle on Feed report included a bearish surprise with placements 7 percent higher on the year.         
   # Softer cash and wholesale prices weighed on hog futures at the end of the week.  Traders will look for guidance from Monday’s Cold Storage report, which should help to better outline supplies