AgriVisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Monday, August 22, 2016
***** Good Afternoon *****

***** Corn futures ended 1 1/4 lower today, soybeans 8-12 higher, with Chicago wheat 6-12 lower. ***** 

   The Pro-Farmer tour kicked off today, and dominated most of the attention.  Various tweets showed a variety of potential in both the far eastern and western parts of the Corn Belt.  But the lower yielding samples did help cast doubt on the record high ear weight indicated by the USDA in the August crop report. Anyone can follow the tour through the day on twitter at #pftour16. 
   Export news remains supportive for soybeans.  Another 120,000 tons was reported sold to unknown today.  The week’s inspections, 35.3 mln. bu. were a new high for the season, and set the stage for rising shipments into winter.  Corn inspections, 49.2 mln. bu., were good as well, but wheat’s slipped to 19.5 mln., and may have helped weaken the wheat market. 
   The weekly crop progress numbers were a bit of a surprise.  The trade expected the corn/soybean numbers to slip 1 point.  Instead, the good/excellent rating for corn jumped 1 point to 75%, while the soybean rating was steady at 72%.  Spring wheat harvest is moving rapidly; 65% of the crop is harvested, almost matching last year, but well ahead of normal.
   Brazilian producers are said to have slowed sales with the lower prices they are being offered.  They still have 15% yet to price.  And new crop sales are off to a slower start, 20%, compared to 26% a year ago.  
   The Romanians revised their wheat production estimate up slightly to 8.4 mmt., 7% higher than last year.  And even though the Russians are harvesting a record crop near 100 mmt., it’s thought their storage capacity is upward of 115 mmt.  How this affects their pace of exports is not altogether clear, if it will at all.  And, they are talking about zero export taxes this year.
   Egypt is tendering for wheat overnight.  Russia will probably garner most of the business, but the price and quantity they purchase could offer additional clues as to what buyers think of wheat prices at these levels.  Generally end-users have been willing buyers. 
   Short term forecasts have a weather system sweeping across the Midwest this week dropping moderate amounts of moisture.  Temps will be normal/cool.  The longer range forecasts show moisture in the western Corn Belt and Great Plains, with temps normal/cool, especially to the west and south.  Both temps and moisture moderate on the longer range forecast, but the situation does pave the way for good conditions to plant the winter wheat crop.
   Corn basis was is showing signs of slippage with the harvest fast approaching.  Soybean basis is somewhat stronger because of the demand ingredients.         
   Financial/forex markets were quiet today, with both looking ahead to Friday’s GDP data and Yellen’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole Fed symposium.  Crude oil weakened on talk about possible increases in Iraqi crude oil prices, and Iranian intransigence on the possibility of capping oil exports.  Seasonal price patterns work against oil prices as well.

***** Live cattle futures ended $0.12 lower to $0.10 higher, feeders ended $0.95-$0.27 higher, with hogs $0.77 lower to $0.45 higher.   *****   
   Wholesale beef prices ended firmer, with choice at $201.14.  Cattle trading was quiet to start the week, but the industry generally shrugged of the slightly negative elements of the COF report. Seasonally cattle prices have a tendency to move up from a late summer low.      
   Wholesale pork prices ended higher for the 2nd consecutive day, with the #2 cutout at $75.80.  Cash hog prices were mostly near steady.  Seasonally demand for pork and hogs tends to improve into early October.