AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
***** Corn futures drop a penny overnight; soybeans down a nickel; wheat fractionally firmer. ***** 
   # Corn and wheat hold steady with soybeans drifting lower overnight.  A selloff for bean futures in China’s market is a catalyst for early U.S. soy weakness.  
   # The U.S. corn crop was 6 percent planted through Sunday versus 12 percent last year and 9 percent for the average.  Illinois progress as called 6 percent, Iowa 2 percent, Missouri 17 percent.  
   # Winter wheat conditions improved again on the week, up to 54 percent Good or Excellent.  Crop conditions are catching up with last year’s 57 percent G/E.  The soft red wheat crop in the Midwest is still in generally better shape than the hard red wheat in the Plains. 
   # Yesterday was a warm, dry day for most in the Midwest.  Scattered showers released a few tenths over the Northern Plains and Mid-South states.  Chances for rain exist today for Iowa and the northern half of Illinois but not until late.  
   # Estimates have 2-3 million acres in Argentina having been negatively affected by heavy rains that fell at the beginning of the month.  Dry conditions over the next week should spare much of the soybean crop that farmers there are now harvesting.  
   # India’s weather agency issued a report outlining its expectations for a normal monsoonal season this year.  The news comes as a relief to many after the country suffered a major drought in 2016. 
   # Fund traders seem to be trying to decide whether or not to continue pressing the short side of the soybean market after having sold off a net-long position that was carried for a year.  They are estimated net-short the oilseed by approximately 20,000 contracts.  Hedge funds are net-short corn by nearly 150,000 contracts.  
   # Soyoil futures rallied sharply on Monday as traders priced in greater chances of government action being taken to protect U.S. biodiesel producers against alleged dumping from Argentina and Indonesia.  Market participants are still waiting for word on whether or not any of the related changes to RFS ethanol regulation will take place.  
   # The dollar index is lower for a third straight session and back below 100.  Fed Chair Janet Yellen now has pressure from the White House to keep the dollar from strengthening and may choose to scale back on the pace of interest rate increases.   

***** Cattle futures still vulnerable to profit-taking after sharp early-April rally; hogs testing chart support at the open.  ***** 

   # The front end of the cattle futures curve remains supported by the June contract’s having a sharp discount to the cash market.  $128 looked to be the most common price paid for cash last week.  Firm boxed beef prices keep the near-term fundamental outlook positive.   
   # High bacon prices is story that is sticking around as we head closer to the summer months.  Red meat demand in general will be expected to enjoy a boost as the grilling season kicks off.