AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
***** Corn futures down fractionally ahead of the morning break; soybeans drop 6 to 7 cents; Chicago wheat lower by 1 1/2 to 2. *****

   # Buyers are still absent from the market after corn has closed lower in six straight sessions.  May soybeans drop below $10 for the first time since last fall.  Soyoil futures are a lone gainer among the grains as those contracts find support from higher Asian palm oil markets.  
   # An update on crop progress in Oklahoma estimated 74 percent of the state to be under moderate drought.  Oklahoma’s winter wheat crop was rated 42 percent good or excellent.  Kansas wheat was rated 40 percent good or excellent as of Sunday.  
   # Domestic wheat shippers are doing much better than last year with accumulated exports up 25 percent, but they are looking increasingly less likely to meet the USDA’s marketing year target of just more than 1 billion bushels shipped.  
   # The latest estimates have the Brazilian soybean crop nearly 60 percent harvested.  Most of Brazil is dry Monday/Tuesday but rains could disrupt harvest during the back half of the week.  Yields continue to impress.
   # Port workers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are planning a strike on Wednesday to protest certain labor conditions.  Weather has been the most notable cause of disruption for logistics in Brazil so far this season with labor protests not yet having been a major issue.    
   # USDA’s Illinois Cash Grain Prices report listed the central state average basis levels at 26 1/2 cents under May corn futures, 38 1/2 under May soybeans. The Interior Iowa basis numbers for corn and soybeans were 45 and 85 under, respectively.
   # An estimate on soybean crushings from the National Oilseed Processors Association will be reported on Wednesday.  Crushers are expected to have used something near the 146 million bushels processed in February 2016, but it will be down from a robust 160.6 million in January.  
   # Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology issued an El Nino Watch as six of their eight watched models point to the phenomenon developing by July.  El Nino would likely have less of an impact on U.S. summer conditions and more of an influence on South America’s next growing season.  
   # U.S. central bankers meet to discuss interest rates today with a rate hike announcement expected for tomorrow afternoon.  The dollar is supported overnight by anticipation of rising rates.       

***** Cattle futures look to start steady/weaker; hogs likely to open with initial strength on follow-through buying. *****

   # Cattle futures are bumping into technical resistance as the April live contract heads back toward a recent high at $118.95.  With the recent cash trade doing $125-$126, the board’s discount still lends it support.           
   # Another $2 surge for bellies helped to lift the pork cutout average higher at the start of the week, 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.