AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Thursday, December 22, 2016
***** Corn steady to fractionally weaker; soybean futures off 12 1/4 to 13 cents; Chicago wheat down 2 1/2. *****

   # New day, same storyline, with soybeans pressured by talk of favorable weather in South America lending support to ideas of big production potential down there.  
   # “Blizzard” was a word heard today after meteorologists forecasted heavy snowfall for upper Plains and western Midwest.  Warmer temperatures in the rest of the Midwest could spell trouble if expected precipitation is rain that quickly turns to ice next week.  
   # Cold temperatures last week were cause of some worry over rivers freezing and making the transportation of commodities along the upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers more difficult.  The current expectation is for ice to potentially come an issue again come mid-January.    
   # USDA announced a 100,000 ton sale of corn to Mexico.  The daily sale followed a weekly export report that featured strong totals for corn and soybeans but none of the numbers garnered any reaction from the trade. 
   # Nearby soybeans futures settled below $10 for the first time in a month.  The January contract quit trading just above its 100-day moving average.  A low at $9.75 1/4 is next up to provide potential technical support.  
   # Fund traders were sellers of approximately 10,000 contracts of soybeans and have cut their net-long to about 100,000 contracts.  The managed money net corn short is near 100,000 contracts.   
   # The dollar inched higher and bond yields climbed as traders reacted to a mostly-positive collection of economic data.  GDP growth was better than anticipated at 3.5 percent for the third quarter.  Stocks edged lower as Apple and Google weighed on the major indexes.  

***** Cattle futures gain $0.30 to $0.72; feeders up $0.32 to $0.97; hogs lower by $0.17 to $0.27. ***** 

   # Cattle futures were supported by cash trades that were being booked steady to $1 higher on the week.  The wholesale market helped support the board again, holding steady today after making solid gains through the previous several sessions.      
   # Hog futures took a small step back on profit-taking, with traders doing some positioning ahead of Friday’s quarterly headcount report.  The number of hogs and pigs in the U.S. is expected to total just more than 70 million head, something around 1-2 percent larger than the year-ago tally.