AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Monday, May 15, 2017
***** Corn futures fractionally weaker; soybeans up 3 to 4 cents; Chicago wheat down 3 1/2 to 4 1/2. ***** 

   # Grains are mixed on extremely light trading volume.  The soy complex finds slight support from higher Asian palm oil prices.  Corn and wheat face pressure as a result of an improved weather outlook.  
   # Showers and thunderstorms are expected for the northwest stretches of the Corn Belt today.  Rains could reach into Illinois tomorrow.  Chances are elevated for the next major rain event to come over the weekend.  
   # Temperatures will moderate in the West with a cold front taking over, but will remain warm in the East.  The two week outlook currently calls for cooler weather for the bulk of Midwest.  
   # The Commitments of Trader report showed hedge funds re-upping on their bearish corn bets.  For the reporting week through last Tuesday, they were sellers of just more than 22,000 contracts.  The corn net-short was left at 209,000 contracts. The soybean short was 33,000 contracts.
   # Today’s Crop Progress report should show U.S. corn plantings nearly 70 percent accomplished with soybean sowings about a quarter done.  
   # NOPA crush will be reported today.  The average trade guess looks for 145.7 million bushels to have been processed in April.  USDA cut the crush target on last week’s WASDE to reflect stiff competition from South America.      
   # Cotton futures have broken out to the upside to make gains of 13 percent since the start of Thursday.  Hedge funds are building a big net-long as anyone short rushes to exit their positions.  U.S. exports continue to impress with help from strong Chinese demand.
   # Oil prices rally on word that the Saudis are supportive of extended production cuts.  The market has been extra volatile over the past two months as traders weigh falling OPEC output against rising non-OPEC inventories.  

***** Cattle futures likely to start mixed; hogs steady/lower. ***** 

   # The cattle trade continues to feature heightened volatility.  Early last week, speculators were comfortable in thinking the high was in, but beef prices continued to march higher and supported another robust cash trade.  Those still bullish were also aided by news that China is moving forward with its agreement to resume beef imports from the U.S.
   # A seasonal advance for cash hogs helps to support the market, but futures still trade with a hefty premium.  Technical sellers are stepping in to pressure the board along with hedge funds taking profit after the sharp rebound.