AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Thursday, September 22, 2016
***** Corn down fractionally at the break; soybeans up 3 1/2 cents; wheat flat. *****

   # Grains traded quietly mixed ahead of the weekly export report.  Corn sales were strong at 921,900 tons while soybean bookings were near the bottom end of trade guess at 875,700 tons.  Wheat sales were robust at 561,000 tons.
   # 24-hour rain totals include up to four inches that fell across north-central Iowa and at least one inch that was collected across most of Wisconsin.  Parts of Illinois received showers early yesterday from a system that stretched down to near Interstate 80.   
   # A good deal of harvest progress will have been made through this week before combines in the Midwest are idled by wet weather starting Sunday.  The period of showers could be brief, as NOAA’s 6-10 and 8-14 outlook maps did turn drier on their Wednesday afternoon runs. 
   # It was back higher for Asian palm oil prices on Thursday, which lends support to soyoil futures overnight.  Strength for soyoil futures in August and September has helped to insulate soybeans from some of the prevailing supply-side negativity.  Traders usually practice caution with a soy complex rally that is led by the more fickle soyoil.
   # Recovering palm oil inventories may be feared to eventually put a limit on U.S. soybean crush potential.  USDA currently projects crush to increase by 2.6 percent on the marketing year. 
   # Fund traders were light sellers of soybeans on Wednesday but are net buyers on the week, with their bullish bets estimated to total something just short of 100,000 contracts.  The money managers are also doing some buying in an effort to cover corn shorts but remain net-short the grain by 140,000 contracts.   
   # Reuters ran a story covering the Diplodia fungus that is being found in high incidence across the Corn Belt.  Some crop scouts suggest the quality issue may be limited to the earliest planted corn and that damage will turn less severe as farmers get deeper into harvest.  
   # The Fed’s decision to keep its main lending rate unchanged weighs on the dollar this morning.  Dollar weakness may end up relatively limited as traders still anticipate an interest rate hike to come in December.          

***** Live cattle futures up $0.87 to $1.30; feeders gain $0.82 to $1.10; feeders down $0.27 to $1.12. *****

   # The story of China’s willingness to begin importing U.S. beef again had traders making a reassessment on demand potential for the coming quarters, not just because of another trade channel opened, but mostly because it is clear that buyers around the world are going to take a look at the U.S. market because of its current competitiveness.  Choice and select beef cutouts, for example, run 16 and 17 percent cheaper than they did a year ago.     
   # Hog futures are making another round of new contract lows this week as they approach last year’s market bottom.  The nearby’s 2015 low was $51.80 put in during the third week of November.