AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, August 18, 2017
***** Corn futures up 1 1/2 cents; soybeans higher by 4 to 7 1/4; Chicago wheat 1 3/4 to 2 higher. *****
   # Nearby corn futures finished higher on the day but lower by 8 3/4 on the week and down for a fourth straight week.  November soybeans finished higher in the last three session of the week but barely clawed back Tuesday’s 14-cent loss.  A lower week this week made seven lower weeks in a row for Chicago wheat futures.  
   # Traders wait for guidance from the Farm Journal (Pro Farmer) Crop Tour next week.  History shows a bias for the tour to underestimate USDA’s final yield numbers.  A handful of crop tours already conducted around Illinois have indicated yields running 10-15 percent lower than a year ago.  USDA’s August corn yield estimate falls only 3 percent short of the 2016 final of 174.6 bushels per acre.  
   # Rains are expected to bookend the weekend for many in the Midwest.  Tuesday looks to lean slightly wet for the region but most of the next two weeks looks dry for now.  The latest runs of the 6-10 and 8-14 day maps had heat pulled away from the outlook.
   # December corn futures traded quietly within a 2 3/4 cent range on the day.  Monday’s high at $3.76 3/4 stands to serve resistance to the contract.  The $3.65 3/4 settlement sits closer to key support from the August 2016 low at $3.58 1/2. 
   # With little fresh fundamental news, crude oil futures turned higher on a technical bounce.  Nearby WTI futures moved up for a test of a converging pair of 20- and 100-day moving averages.  
   # AAA listed today’s national gasoline price average at $2.34 per gallon.  Illinois’ statewide average was marked at $2.37, Iowa at $2.31.  South Carolina boasted the country’s lowest average, at $2.07. 
   # A strong reading for consumer sentiment helped catch the stock market after a steep slide this week.  The report adds to enthusiasm generated from a solid jobless claims number from Thursday.  Some extra volatility has been injected into the market as investors discount political uncertainties in the U.S. 

***** Live cattle drop $0.32 to $0.75; feeders steady to $0.70 lower; hogs off $0.30 to $0.80. *****

   # Cattle futures climbed out of a hole dug early in the session to end off of the day’s lows.  Selling was exhausted after October live futures notched in a fresh three-month low but have room ahead of the six-month bottom at $100.52.  The midday cutout averages had choice down $0.57, select off $1.70.  A narrowing of the choice/select spread (now $2.56) has signaled nearby demand concerns.
   # Bellies are not giving in just yet, the cut taking back $8.74 in early deals and helping the pork carcass cutout average gain $1.06 at midday.  Futures took their cue from cash hogs that continue to slip.  The Western Corn Belt average was down $3.12 for the negotiated trade.  The drop from high to low for October hog futures this week was $5.90.