AgriVisor Morning Marketwatch

Friday, March 17, 2017
   ***Good Morning***

***** Grains are mixed/slightly lower to start the day; soybeans 3 lower, corn fractionally lower, with wheat fractionally higher. *****

   # Grain prices are acting a little defensive as the trading day starts, but the action is somewhat subdued given the absence of significant news and with prices having gotten back to support levels this week.  
   # Weather may be the element that is supporting wheat, with the uncertainty of possible frost damage from the midweek cold in the southern Corn Belt and the South.  Dryness in the S. Plains is a part of the mix too, but buying interest is scarce with the forecasts still including rains for the S. Plains and wheat areas across the South.  In the N. Plains, the longer range forecasts for above normal precip are making timely planting more uncertain.
   # The size of the S. American crops remain in the crosshairs of the row crop traders.  Traders at the Rosario Grain Exchange are now looking for Argentine crops to hit 56 mmt(soy) and 38 mmt(corn). Yield expectations for both are slightly higher than last year. Estimates from the Buenos Aires Exchange are just a little lower than those for both. Soybean harvest is said to just be starting in a few scattered locations.  
   # Showers are occurring in parts of Argentina, but for the next 7 days, the forecasts are mostly dry, with above normal to much above normal.  In Brazil, showers will tend to dominate, especially in the northern 2nd crop corn areas.  Temps are expected to be mixed. 
   # The longer range outlooks for the U.S. show the warmth retreating a little to the west.  More important, they point to above normal moisture across much of the country from the Great Plains east, undermining some of the dry weather talk that has been a part of the markets of recent.  Forecasters talk about the Pacific pipeline streaming moisture across much of the grain belt.  The long range outlooks released yesterday indicated spring should be warmer than normal in areas mostly from the Great Plains east.  Moisture expectations are mostly normal, with the N Plains expected to be wet.
   # The Dollar is mostly a little firmer with some pre-weekend position squaring.  Industrial production and consumer sentiment reports are due out later today.  The Euro is seeing some support in the wake of the results of the Netherland elections. 

***** Cattle should start the day slightly higher; lean hogs steady. ***** 
   # Wholesale beef is higher with choice at $222.36. Cash cattle traded higher again yesterday with some cash as high as $132 live and $210 dressed.  Beef exports were down a little. Futures are expected to sustain short term strength with the large cash premium.
   # Wholesale pork was slightly lower at $81.34. Cash hog prices should be steady/lower, but some support is still coming from good margins.  For both hogs and cattle, the moderating weather conditions are working against cash strength, hogs in particular. Pork exports are holding strong, helping support cash.