AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Thursday, June 15, 2017
***** Corn futures down 3 to 4 ahead of the break; soybeans drop a nickel; Chi wheat lower by 2. ​*****

   # Rain fell over a significant portion of the Corn Belt in the last 24 hours and crop prices start the session lower as a result.
   # Western Illinois was inundated with rain totals of up to eight inches with a broad swath of the state’s south-central region receiving a healthy two inches.  Showers were widespread across Indiana, most areas accumulating two to four inches.  
   # Export sales were mostly in line with expectations.  Old-crop corn sales totaled 23.6 million bushels but new-crop commitments were virtually none.  Soybean sales were 12.5 million old, 11.5 new.  Wheat sales totaled 13.7 mbu.
   # Fund traders are back to being sellers as current weather shifts favorable for crop conditions.   Managed money is estimated to have left Wednesday with net-shorts on corn, beans, and wheat that all three sit roughly near 100,000 contracts.  
   # USDA on Thursday listed the central Illinois corn and soybean basis averages at a respective 23 1/2 and 25 1/2 cents under July futures.  The Interior Iowa basis averages for corn and soybeans were 47 and 63 under, respectively.
   # Minneapolis wheat futures are pressured by profit-taking after having reached a fresh two-year high this week.  On Monday, USDA analysts issued spring wheat crop ratings that were a dismal 45 percent Good/Excellent.  Light showers have fallen over the Northern Plains this week, but conditions will be slow to improve without additional moisture.  
   # The U.S. and China have come to terms on an agreement that will allow U.S. beef exports back into China.  The Chinese market is a substantial one, with beef imports into the country currently totaling more than $2.5 billion per year. 
   # The Federal Reserve raised interest rates this week as expected, but investors are not entirely at ease with U.S. monetary policy direction considering inflation is still very low.  The dollar index rebounds this morning after reacting negatively to the rate hike on Wednesday.  

***** Cattle futures look to find early buying interest after a limit-down move on Wednesday; hogs open with a test of contract highs. *****

   # Live cattle futures trade with expanded $4.50 limits today after selling off on Thursday behind a lower cash trade.  Support could be found quickly as August futures at $118 still trade with considerable discount to cash deals struck this week in the low $130’s.  Beef prices have turned softer into mid-week.   
   # Hog futures are supported further by gains for pork.  Direct hogs were reported higher by $2.83 in the Western Corn Belt yesterday afternoon.  Demand bullishness is the driver as we head into Father’s Day weekend and also approach the 4th of July.