AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Tuesday, May 02, 2017
***** Corn futures drop 4 1/4 to 5 1/4 cents; soybeans steady to 1 1/2 lower; Chicago wheat down 2, KC wheat up 2. ***** 

   # Corn futures gave back most of Monday’s rally after the July contract ran into resistance from $3.80.  Light trading volume indicated showed the hedge funds to be relatively inactive.
   # Hedge funds are thought to have left the session with a net corn short near 175,000 contracts, soybeans net-short 50,000, Chicago wheat net-short 160,000.    
   # Traders spent the session assessing weather forecasts.  Weighing on corn some was the government meteorologists pulling some of tomorrow’s moisture out of central Illinois.  Rain totals of up to three inches are predicted for eastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri.  
   # The rough consensus is for farmers having a week to dry out before the stretch of 8-14 days out allows planting work to resume across most of the Corn Belt.  Monday’s Crop Progress report showed Illinois ahead of the five-year pace with corn plantings at 63 percent, but Iowa and all of the upper Midwest were lagging behind as of Sunday.
   # Sugar prices have dropped sharply over the past month and along with weak corn prices seem to have encouraged the Brazilian government to take action.  The latest on related policy has the Brazilians introducing a tax on ethanol imports.  Nearly half of U.S. ethanol exports were going to Brazil at the beginning of the calendar year. 
   # Monday’s rally bought another small increment of old-crop corn from the farmer.  Cash prices were reaching back above $3.50 throughout parts of central Illinois.  Heavier movement was actually being observed in the Western Corn Belt where basis values are weaker than those east of the Mississippi River.  U.S. farmers are together estimated to be near 65-68 percent sold on their 2016 corn crop.   
   # Oil was down more than $1 per barrel in early afternoon trading.  Investors were exiting bullish bets after data continue to show U.S. supplies growing.  Also bearish for today’s trade was news of Libyan production rising considerably.       

***** Live cattle up $0.62 to $2.92; feeders higher by $1.37 to $1.85; hogs gain $0.50 to $0.87. ****​*

   # Live and feeder cattle futures were all up by their respective limits early in the session before backing off just a touch into the close.  More of the same bullish news for the market today, with boxed beef gaining in a way that keeps traders friendly on cash potential.      
   # Hog futures benefited from higher cash values traded in the Western Corn Belt today.  The seasonal trend has cash trades improving into the summer months.