AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
***** Corn futures fractionally higher; soybeans down 2 3/4 to 4 1/4 cents; Chicago wheat up a penny. *****

   # Another day of soybean futures giving up early gains.  Losses for the nearby May contract total 67 cents for the month.  Corn closes higher for a second session but the nearby is turned away by its measly 10-day moving average.  
   # Hedge funds have reached 100,000 contracts net-short on corn futures as they have whittled down their soybean net-long to near 35,000 contracts.  The Chicago wheat short is up to more than 125,000 contracts.  
   # Traders will have a look at grain export sales tomorrow morning.  New corn bookings are expected to beat 1 million tons with soybean sales near 450,000.  This is the time of year when deals for the next 2017/18 market
   # Ethanol production was up one percent on the week and utilized a strong 110 million bushels of grain.  Corn grind remains well on track to meet the USDA’s record 5.4 billion bushel target.  
   # More heavy rainfall moving through the Southern Plains this afternoon.  Today’s coverage extended across most of Kansas and throughout the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.  
   # U.S. crude stocks climbed 0.9 million barrels last week.  The inventory build was slightly smaller than expected and oil futures were supported on the news.  Also friendly for prices were U.S. distillate and gasoline stocks that dropped by more than anticipated.  
   # The Senate Ag Committee voted today on the nomination of Sonny Perdue to run the USDA.  The former governor of Georgia will be the first ag secretary from the South since Mississippian Mike Epsy was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993.
   # The dollar index gained on weakness for the pound and euro that was stirred up by today’s Brexit talk.  Comments from some of the Fed officials yesterday were taken to be hawkish on interest rates and thus also friendly the dollar.   

***** Live cattle gain $0.25 to $0.57; feeders up $1.30 to $1.62; hogs steady to $0.30 higher.  *****

   # Cattle futures were supported by cash deals that were being made at levels just short of last week, leaving the cash with a sizable premium to the board.  Boxed beef was down moderately on the midday report, choice -$0.50, select -$1.25.           
   # Hog futures traded quietly ahead of tomorrow’s Hogs and Pigs report.  Average estimates call for all-hogs at 103.9 percent of last year’s total, kept-for-breedings at 101.8 percent, and kept-for-market at 104 percent.