AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, November 17, 2016
***** Corn futures up 3 to 3 1/2 cents; soybeans up 3 3/4 to 5 1/2; Chicago wheat higher by 5 1/4 to 6. ***** 

   # Corn export sales were better than expected this week at 65.4 million bushels.  Cumulative corn sales of 1.09 billion bushels make up almost half of the USDA’s marketing year target.  Soybean sales were up on the week to 52.1 million bushels and were well above the 15 million bushels per week needed to meet USDA’s current 2.05 billion bushel estimate for 2016/17.
   # The analysts at Informa released an updated set of 2017 acreage estimates.  Corn acres are anticipated down to 90.84 million versus 94.5 in the last season.  Soybean acres are expected to rise to 88.6 million versus 83.7 this year.  All wheat area down from 50.2 to 47.27.
   # The country’s first big snow storm is brewing in the northern Plains this afternoon.  A blizzard warning is currently in effect for the shared-border regions of the Dakotas and Minnesota. 
   # NOAA’s three-month weather outlook was released today to show higher chances for below-normal temperatures in the upper Midwest, equal chances for above/below normal throughout the center Midwest region, and elevated chances for warmth in the South.  The precipitation map follows to lean wet north and drier south.     
   # Crude oil prices slipped after a firmer start.  Buyers were initially enthused by talk of an OPEC production freeze becoming more likely.  The oil cartel is set to meet on November 30th to discuss a possible agreement.  
   # Investors cheered a strong point of economic data in a housing starts number that jumped 25.5 percent in October and dwarfed expectations of a 9.5 percent gain.  Another report on inflation found the Consumer Price Index up 0.4 percent last month; most of the gains came from higher energy costs.  
   # The dollar strengthened further as the market digested comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that indicated the central bank was ready to raise interest rates soon.       

***** Live cattle futures steady to $0.35 higher; feeders fractionally changed; hogs down $0.30 to $0.57. ***** 

   # Cattle futures pulled back from early-session highs as traders moved to take profit on the two-week rally.  Beef export sales were a touch softer on the week but year-to-date sales remain about 15 percent higher over last year’s cumulative total.    
   # Weaker wholesale pork prices weighed on hog futures, but technical support from yesterday’s lows made it so that losses were only moderate.  December hog futures maintain technical support from their major moving averages and face resistance from last week’s $48.75 high.