AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Friday, December 30, 2016
***** Corn futures down fractionally ahead of the break; soybeans off 2 3/4 to 4 cents; Chicago wheat up 1 to 1 3/4. *****

   # Grain futures start lower on what looks likely to shape up as another quiet trading session.  Traders not yet on holiday will use the day to adjust positions for year’s-end. 
   # March 2016 corn futures trade open about 10 cent lower than where the CH15 contract started the 2016 calendar year.  January 2015 soybean futures opened 2016 at $8.70 3/4.  A look at the continuous chart shows Chicago wheat future losing about 70 cents on the year.  
   # Corn and soybean export sales were a little light relative to expectations, corn at 959,000 tons and soybeans at 974,000.  Wheat sales were robust this week at 568,000 tons.    
   # No soybean contracts issued for delivery.  103 contracts of January soymeal were delivered on.  
   # Artic air moves in to bring cold temperatures to the Midwest starting early next week.  The 6-10 day outlook takes some rain chances away from the Midwest but leaves higher odds for wet weather where they need it in the Southern Plains and Mid-South.  
   # Forecasts are mostly favorable for growers in South America.  Conditions have been good for farmers in Brazil that are about ready to start cutting a big bean crop.  The worry is that some of the dryness in northeast Brazil could spread west to influence second crop corn production.  Showers continue to pop up throughout Argentina to help replenish soil moisture and give crops a break from hot temperatures. 
   # The positions having fluctuated only a small bit the past several weeks, fund trades are estimated net-short corn by 100,000 contracts and net-long beans by 100,000 contracts.   
   # Dollar futures start lower for a second day in a row.  The dollar index is up about three percent in 2016. Stock futures start quietly higher.  The Dow likely won’t make 20,000 this year, but it stands nearly 14 percent higher year-to-date.     

***** Live cattle futures down about $17/cwt since the start of the year; Hogs surprisingly climb back to where they started 2016. ***** 

   # Cattle may find support from a cold weather forecast for the Plains.  The market is otherwise supported from strong technical foundations, but many will argue that the move up has now become exaggerated for what we know about the supply-side fundamentals remaining mostly negative.            
   # The hog market continues to find support from strong packer margins that keep product moving through the pipeline quickly.  Futures may run into some profit-taking now that the nearby contract is re-approaching a recent high.