AgriVisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Friday, January 20, 2017
***** Corn futures ended 2-3 higher; soybeans 1-3 lower; Chicago wheat 3-4 higher. *****  

   There wasn’t a lot of fresh news to impact the grain trade Friday, but maybe that was a good thing with the country focused on the inauguration more than on real business. 
   The USDA did release export sales Friday.  There was some talk they might not be released until Monday.  Soybean sales, 979,600 tons, and corn sales, 1.37 mmt., were a little better than expected.  The 242, 500 tons of wheat sales were at the low end of the range.  They remain at low levels, a troublesome feature for the market at this time.  The USDA did report 126,312 tons of corn were sold to unknown destination.  
   # Egypt bought only 1 cargo of wheat on their overnight tender, 60,000 tons from Ukraine.  The price paid was similar to recent business they have covered. 
   Argentina is still in the news.  Traders at eh Rosario stock exchange believe area will be cut near 1 mln. hectares, with het output forecast at 52.9 mmt.  That’s close to the “popular” estimates that have been floating around the trade.  The see corn acreage down about 750,000 hect., with the production closer to 37.9 mmt.  That’s about 5 under the Arg. govt. forecast. 
   Rain showers have slowed the soy harvest in northern Brazil.  Mato Grosso is thought to be 11% complete.  With showers continuing, the pace should stay subdued, slowing 2nd crop corn planting.  Arg. is expected to be hot, dry into early week.  Some fear this pattern could persist into month’s end. 
   Equity, forex, energy market trading were subdued like the other markets.  Trump’s speech did cause the Dollar to weaken, but that may have been the biggest news of the day. 

***** Live cattle futures were $0.90 to $0.30 lower; feeders $1.15 to $0.62 higher; hogs were $0.12 to $0.82 lower. ***** 

   Wholesale beef prices ended the week with a soft tone continuing the recent trend.  Choice ended at $190.42. Cash cattle ended the week on a light trade at $120-$122 live and $193-$195 dressed.  Packer margins are starting to get negative enough to cap live prices. 
   Wholesale pork prices continue to struggle at the $80.00 level. They did close slightly higher Friday at $79.71.  Cash hog prices in the western Corn Belt were slightly higher at $63.58.  Packer margins are holding at moderate profits, but nothing like the levels in late 2016.