AgriVisor Morning MarketWatch

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
***** Corn futures down 1 1/2 at the break; soybeans lower by 2 cents; Chicago wheat fractionally weaker. *****

   # The overnight session was largely uneventful with grain futures opening just a touch lower.  Corn features more shorts rolling from December to March.  Soybeans have so far been unable to benefit from a soyoil price rebound.  Wheat futures ignore further deterioration for winter crop condition ratings.  
   # Winter wheat conditions were called 52 percent Good or Excellent, down from 54 percent last week and 58 percent last year.  The state-by-state breakdown features relative weakness for the hard red wheat growers.  The Illinois soft red crop was tagged 61 percent G/E.  
   # Analysts from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimated corn harvest progress at 90 percent through Sunday, the soybean crop at 96 percent cut.  The northern states still have corn to harvest as usual, as does a soggy Eastern Corn Belt.   
   # Light showers scatter across Argentina this week to help replenish soil moisture for developing crops.  An expected La Nina still causes concern for growers there as it is most often associated with drier conditions during the row crop season.  Corn planting progress in Argentina is on a normal track at around 40 percent done.  Soybean plantings are estimated near a third complete.  
   # Grains trade a full session on Wednesday and close for Thanksgiving until Friday morning, when the market will be open through noon.  The Wednesday and Friday sessions surrounding the holiday can sometimes feature outsized price moves if thin trading volume allows buying or selling to snowball.
   # Corn basis is improving across much of the Midwest as harvest wraps up and farmer selling slows.  The Central Illinois basis averages reported by USDA on Monday afternoon were 26 cents under December futures for corn, 50 1/2 under the January for soybeans.  Corn and soybean basis averages were 43 and 81 under, respectively.  
   # U.S. stock index futures are making strong gains this morning with support having spilled over from higher international markets.  Investors are waiting for further development on pending U.S. tax changes while they also digest some concerns over Brexit and Angela Merkel’s diminishing political control in Germany. 

***** Cattle futures look to start steady/firmer; hogs open with a test of technical support from the major moving averages. *****

   # Cattle futures started the week weaker as traders priced in another bearish placements estimate.  Softer wholesale prices now point toward retailers being fully covered for the holidays.  A short holiday week should leave the cash market undeveloped.         
   # Hog futures rallied on Monday with help from technical buyers, but falling cash and wholesale markets still reflect bearish-leaning fundamental sentiment.