AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
***** Corn down 3 cents; soybean futures up 1 1/4 to 1 1/2; Chicago wheat lower by 3 1/2 to 4. ***** 

   # A USDA daily sales announcement showed China stepping into the U.S. market to purchase 132,000 tons of soybeans, a good sign amidst the trepidation over the annual shift of buying interest toward South American origin.  
   # It was another big week for ethanol production with more than 1 million barrels put out per day.  Corn grind was estimated at more than 105 million bushels to run well above the pace of 100.3 million per week needed to meet the USDA’s current 5.3 billion bushels target. 
   # Funds held steady on the soybean position today, still left net-long by a little more than 100,000 contracts.  Money managers were thought to be net sellers of almost 10,000 contracts to bring the total net-short to 100,000 contracts.   
   # Favorable weather in Brazil leans on the soybean market this week. Showers are expected to spread with up to 75 percent coverage through the next seven days.  Dry weather worries may stick around for Brazil’s center-West regions.    
   # Export sales are reported tomorrow morning with the trade looking for new corn bookings to total something short of 1 million metric tons while soybean sales come in near 1.25 million tons.  Wheat sales should run around 400,000 tons.  
   # Mexico again holds the top spot for purchases of U.S. corn so far this marketing year.  Commitments from our neighbor to the south are up 24 percent from a year ago.  Japan has been a more active buyer lately with purchases that are up 53 percent year-on-year.  
   # Stock markets were mixed with no one sector showing major gains or losses.  Apple and JPMorgan were notable gainers with GE and Google slight losers.  Bulls still reach for Dow 20,000.   

***** Cattle futures up $0.62 to $1.17; feeders higher by $0.22 to $0.62; hog futures better by $0.27 to $0.90. ***** 

   # Cattle futures climbed higher despite being billed as overbought.  Traders are starting to position themselves for Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, which they mostly agree will feature confirmation of aggressive marketings.  Unsurprisingly, there lacks consensus on what to expect out of placements, with guesses ranging from 105-118 percent.  
   # Similar story as cattle, hog traders buy as they await an important headcount report due out on Friday.  The trade generally agrees that the all-hogs-and-pigs numbers will be up just slightly on the year.