AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
***** Corn futures steady to 1 1/4 lower; soybeans off 4 1/4 to 9 3/4 cents; Chi wheat drops 1 3/4 to 3 1/2. *****

   # Early-week strength corn strength ran into pressure from the hedger and technical seller.  Soybeans turned lower as news of an accelerated pace for Brazil’s soybean harvest circulated.  A stronger dollar and a raised estimate for Australian production helped to weigh on wheat.  
   # Two export deals showed up on the USDA’s daily reporting system.  A sale of 142,500 tons of soybeans was made to Mexico for 2016/17 and 229,000 tons of corn are heading to Japan sometime in the 2017/18 season.  
   # Heavy rains fell over Oklahoma at the start of the week to help provide some relief against severe drought conditions that were spreading through the state.  Wet weather from a storm moving along the Gulf Coast today will stretch into where dry conditions have been developing in Missouri and southern Illinois.    
   # USDA’s Illinois Cash Grain Prices report listed the central state average corn basis at 18 1/2 cents under March futures with soybeans 31 1/2 under.  Those levels were listed on the Interior Iowa report at 40 and 81 under, respectively.  
   # Corn and cotton are among commodities showing strength recently despite worry building over a potential deterioration of trade relations with Mexico.  Mexico was top buyer of U.S. corn in 2016 and is most always a top two or three buyer of U.S. cotton. 
   # Fund traders took a break from buying the grains today, but still maintain a net-long in the ag space.  The large speculators are net-long around 30,000 contracts of corn and 150,000 soybeans.  They are paring their wheat short down, now standing at near 75,000 contracts.  
   # Oil prices continue to find support as OPEC members but production, but traders are wary to become too bullish as they see recent price strength encouraging U.S. production to pick up.  

***** Live cattle futures make strong gains into the closing bell, finish higher by $1.17 to $1.47; hogs up $1 to $1.60. *****

   # Hog futures bounced back easily after dipping sharply at the start of the week.  More strength for pork belly prices comes as supplies of the cuts stay tight.  Higher wholesale values are regenerating some optimism over cash market potential.            
   # Cattle futures firmed up after a four-day slide as traders waited for the cash market to develop.  Early thoughts were that the cash market would face some pressure, but boxed beef prices look to rebounding after making a weaker turn last week.