AgriVisor Morning Marketwatch

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
   ***Good Morning***

***** Grains are mixed again; soybeans are 5 lower, corn 1 lower, with wheat fractionally higher. ***** 

   # Even though it was just a holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving seemed to slow activity/news around the world.  Markets are working back toward some normalcy yet today. 
   # The slowdown in our soybean exports is generating some talk about China being slow to issue safety certificates to offload cargoes of soybeans as being the reason our shipments are somewhat slower.    But, it’s not unusual for our export loadings to slow at Thanksgiving, and too many are comparing to last year yet. But the pace is encouraging talk the export forecast is too high. 
   # The Arg. govt. says soybean plantings are just over 40% done.  There’s also talk the recent drying trend has slowed the planting pace with some producers waiting on rain to resume activity.  The 10 day outlook is still not that good for rain. Meanwhile, planting is winding down in Brazil with soil moisture that looks good at present. 
   # The Dollar value of Arg. grain exports last week were the lowest going back to the end of 2015. 
   # Our corn harvest is now 95% done, with many areas wrapping up the last few fields. 
   # The winter wheat rating dropped 2 points to 50% good/excellent; the trade was only looking for a 1 point drop.  Primarily the reduction came in HRW.  But, the longer range weather outlooks continue to forecast better moisture chances for the Central/Southern Plains.  
   # The US EPA is expected to release their final guidelines on mandates for biofuels this week, possibly even today.
   # Brazil continues to offer corn at a slightly lower price than the US or Arg, but should be coming to the end of their corn export campaign.  If quantity is wanted, it’s going to have to come out of the U.S. 
   # Brazilian farmers are complaining that low prices have caused their profitability to evaporate.  General sustained strength in the Real is helping aggravate the situation. The current situation has cut first corn plantings, and could cut 2nd crop acreage slightly.
   # Egypt has a wheat tender out, but the offers were primarily out of Russia or Eastern Europe, with Russia offering the lowest prices. Results will come this morning.  Generally, US wheat prices are very competitive with the world at this time.
   # The US planting mix is garnering some attention, especially with some farmer meetings starting to occur.  The only certainty seems to be a general feel that winter wheat plantings will drop a little more again.  There’s not much uniformity on the opinion about corn/soybean acreage.
   # The latest weekly CFTC trader commitment numbers show that funds reduced their modest long soybean position slightly, cut their record short corn position slightly, but sustained their moderately large short wheat position.
   # The Dollar was slightly firmer in the overnight trade, but the weak bias is persisting given the uncertainty about the timing of int rate hikes and the plight of the tax bill.  Traders will be looking for some clues from Powell’s confirmation hearing today. 

***** Cattle should start the day mixed; Lean hogs steady/firm. *****  

   # Wholesale beef is lower with choice at $209.57. General wholesale price strength is expected to guide cash prices higher later this week. Current talk is that feedlots will be offering cattle in the low $120s. Even though a few extra animals might be available, packers are thought to be not bought far ahead; hence cash could be stronger.
   # Wholesale pork is steady/firm at $82.58. Cash hog prices are expected to be stronger with the return to a full slaughter week, but the key might lie with the wholesale trend.  If those prices slip, packers aren’t likely to boost capacity, keeping a lid on cash bids this week.