AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
***** Corn futures fractionally weaker ahead of the break; soybeans up 1 to 3 cents; Chicago wheat 2 cents lower. ***** 

   # Corn futures dip lower after the Crop Progress report showed farmers catching up to a normal pace for corn planting and being 71 percent done.  As expected, states in the Western Corn Belt made record progress while those like Indiana and Ohio accomplished barely anything.  
   # Soybean planting progress at 32 percent was ahead of the expected estimate.  32 percent planted so far compares with 34 percent last year and 32 percent the five-year average.
   # A drop for the winter wheat condition ratings wasn’t enough to get anyone excited.  The crop was called 51 percent Good or Excellent versus 53 G/E last year and 62 a year ago.   
   # Hedge funds have built a net-corn short that again surpasses 200,000 contracts.  The net soybean short continues to hover near 35-40,000 contracts.  
   # July corn futures have broken the uptrend that had developed a month ago.  Monday’s reversal puts the contract behind a shelf of its major moving averages and far removed from its May high at $3.79.
   # Rain is expected to fall across the bulk of the Western Corn Belt today.  The heaviest totals of up to two inches may be collected along the Iowa/Nebraska border.  Showers are expected to be widespread across the Midwest tomorrow.  
   # Monday’s export inspection report featured a weak total for soybeans, damping some of the enthusiasm that had developed over late-season trade prospects.  Rumors about Chinese interest stick around, but they have yet to be substantiated by confirmed commitments.  Traders will keep an eye out for any daily flash sales and will continue to pay close attention to the Thursday sales reports.  
   # Grains have been mostly decoupled with outside markets as of late.  A recent rebound for oil and drop for the dollar have failed to lend much in the way of support.  Stock markets wouldn’t have provided much guidance anyway, with that trade having been relatively muted so far in May.      

***** Live cattle futures drop $2.47 to $2.97 on Monday; feeders off $2.02 to $3.07; hogs flat to $0.70 weaker. ***** 

   # Beef prices hold firm with choice cuts running about 16 percent higher than their year-ago values.  Traders are now reasoning that high beef prices will start to find some pushback from grocery shoppers.     
   # Hog futures are making a correction after reaching briefly into short-run overbought territory.  The pork cutout average was flat and the cash trade was showing signs of stalling after climbing about $5 in 5 days.