AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, August 19, 2016
***** Corn up 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cents; soybean futures down 5 3/4 to 10; Chicago wheat steady to up 2 1/2. *****

   # Another strong flash soybean sale was reported on the USDA’s daily export announcement system.  261,000 tons will be shipped to an unknown buyer in the 2016/17 season. 
   # Bullish export prospects had Gulf soybean bids higher while the Sep/Nov futures spread also firmed at the end of the week.     
   # The forecast has more showers in store for the Midwest this weekend.  Rainfall should continue to be beneficial for most, but farmers in some areas like S Illinois and NW Indiana will wish to avoid anything heavy.  
   # Predictions for the size of grain crops in Russia and Ukraine continue to rise.  Russia was in the news today for its consideration of scrapping wheat export taxes, a control that the government uses to keep domestic food prices in check when crops are short.
   # There have been reports of some flaring up of tensions between Russia and Ukraine this week.  Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Ukrainian government of backing rebels that have allegedly initiated skirmishes near the countries’ shared border.  Grain futures have so far shrugged off the news.  Wheat futures climbed 30 percent when fighting between the Russia and Ukraine began to escalate back in February of 2014.     
   # Some traders have the suspicion that Brazilian officials may turn to grain export taxes and use them as a tool to manage dwindling surpluses.  The ag ministry has recently come out to say that soybeans could be imported if necessary.  
   # A stronger dollar was a headwind for most commodities throughout the session.  The latest comments from U.S. central bankers are perceived to be more hawkish regarding the possibility of an interest rate hike yet in 2016.  

***** Live cattle futures finish $0.02 to $0.32 lower while feeders rally $0.37 to $1.05; hogs up $0.70 to $1.22. *****

   # The Cattle on Feed report featured a placements tally of 102 percent (relative to the year-ago total) that was near the top end of trade estimates.  Total on-feed was also 102 percent but in line with expectations.  Marketings were called 99 percent.       
   # A rebound for wholesale pork helped hog futures move higher on the day.  Profit-taking triggered by oversold technicals was also a positive influence.  October futures stand 7.5 percent higher from their August 4 low.