AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Thursday, August 24, 2017
***** Corn futures fractionally firmer; soybeans up 4 1/4 at the break; Chicago wheat 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cents higher. *****

   # Grains trade quietly overnight, corn within a two-cent range.  Fresh news is limited.  Traders wait for weekly export sales this morning, more data from the Farm Journal Crop Tour tomorrow.  
   # Corn export sales were on the light side of expectations this week.  New additions to the book included 102,000 tons old-crop and 423,000 new.  A net cancellation was made to the old-crop soybean ledger, but sales for 2017/18 were an impressive 2 million tons.  Wheat sales were disappointing at 386,000 tons.  
   # Very little rain to report from last night.  Light showers were scattered over NW Iowa while a weak system moved through Minnesota/Wisconsin.  The latest run of the 6-10 day forecast turned slightly drier for the Western Corn Belt but the 8-14 day expanded rain coverage in the East.  Today starts a cool down across the Plains and Midwest states.    
   # A few observations from the western leg of the Farm Journal Crop Tour have found low bean pod counts and pods that are not well filled.  Scouts moving through Illinois on the eastern leg were reported to have found our state’s corn yield sample average at 180.72 bushels per acre versus 193.5 last year and 188 projected by the USDA in August.  
   # Ethanol production was down just less than one percent on the week this week.  Corn usage was estimated at 106 million bushels.  Analysts have a difficult time pinning down the exact ethanol yield from corn and also have to take into account sorghum usage, but the prevailing consensus remains that processors will not likely have met the USDA’s current grind target this year.  
   # A small bit of corn is being let go by the producer as delayed pricing programs end along with the wrapping up of the crop year.  The majority of farmer-held bushels are expected to be rolled into the new year as prices fail to offer anything resembling profitability.  
   # November soybean futures haven’t broke under the previous day’s low in each of five straight sessions.  It is an inside day so far, with Wednesday’s $9.47 top serving minor resistance for today’s trade. Small support is being lent so far by the contract’s 10-day moving average.  
   # U.S. stocks look to open mostly firmer after worry about a government shutdown put traders on edge Wednesday.  Comments from the Jackson Hole central bankers meeting will be digested today.   

***** Live cattle look to start steady/firmer; hogs attempt to correct from oversold territory. *****

   # Cattle futures are pressured by weaker expectations for cash market direction.  No cattle traded on Wednesday’s internet auction.  Bids are pretty close to where the October futures trade, near $106.         
   # A turn lower for cash and wholesale markets weighs on hog futures.  This week’s friendly Cold Storage report failed to offset negativity from the expectations for increasing fourth quarter pork supplies.