AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Monday, March 13, 2017
***** Corn futures drop 3 to 3 1/2 cents; soybeans fractionally weaker; Chi wheat tumbles 9 to 10 1/2. *****

   # May corn futures closed lower for a sixth straight session.  A settlement below the Bollinger Band and the relative strength index registering 35 point to an oversold market.  $3.59 is a low to watch for potential support.  
   # Corn shipments were up 6.7 percent on the week to 60.9 million bushels.  Soybean export inspections were down to 24.1 million from 34.8 last week.  Wheat inspections at 19 million versus 21.4 last week. 
   # A sale of 120,000 tons of soybeans for 2017/18 delivery was booked by an unknown buyer.  Traders are generally anxious about export prospects as relations with top buyers Mexico and China turn rocky.    
   # Traders were taking a look at acreage estimates from the analysts at Informa, who expect corn planted corn area to drop to 90.77 million acres from 94 million last year. The soybean acres projection is 88.67 million acres versus 83.43 million last year.  
   # Rising Black Sea wheat prices have failed to support the Chicago market. U.S. exporters continue to have trouble competing with a large surplus of the grain being offered by Russia.  That country is expected to export 28.5 million tons in 2016/17 versus the 27.9 mt projected to come out of the U.S.
   # A low pressure system moved north and east to dump snow on the Great Lakes region today.  Another round of snow was expected to move through the Midwest during the afternoon hours.  Near single-digit lows are anticipated for Wednesday before temperatures warm up again.  
   # Stock markets were quiet as market participants sit tight ahead of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday-Wednesday of this week.  Traders would be surprised if central bankers chose not to hike the economy’s main lending rate.     

***** Live cattle futures up $0.15 to $0.60 with feeders rallying $1.12 to $1.42; hogs gain $1.57 to $2.05. ***** 

   # Buyers followed through on last week’s cattle market strength.  The board’s discount to cash remains a supportive influence.  Boxed beef prices were mixed at midday, choice down $0.69 and select higher by $1.32.         
   # Another $2 surge for bellies helped to lift the pork cutout average higher, in turn supporting hog futures.  Packers were somewhat concerned about operations being disrupted by this week’s snow event.  April futures still trade short of February’s $72.65 high.