AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, March 02, 2018
***** Corn down a penny on Friday; soybeans moderately firmer in the old-crop, weaker in the new; Chicago wheat gives back 13 1/2 to 15 1/2. ***** 

   # May corn futures posted a gain of 10 3/4 cents on the week.  SK18 rallied 23 1/2 cents, WK18 up 35 3/4.
   # Wheat futures sold off despite a drier turn for the two-week U.S. weather forecast.  The Southern Plains looks to remain dry as winter wheat crops start to break dormancy.  Profit-taking at the week’s end was triggered by various technical measures that were beginning to flash overbought.  
   # The market is abuzz over President Trump’s plan to place tariffs on imported metals.  The top sellers of steel into the U.S. market are also many of our top agricultural trading partners, including Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan.
   # A host of daily export sales announcements were issued by USDA this morning.  China was a buyer of 198,000 tons of soybeans.  Another 121,000 tons of U.S. beans were bought by an unknown importer.  Finally, 20,000 tons of soyoil were committed to an unknown destination.    
   # The analysts at Informa issued an update to their global production estimates this morning.  The group calls Argentine corn crop potential 33.5 million tons versus USDA at 39 mt.  Informa’s estimate for Brazil corn at 89 mt compares with the last USDA forecast at 95 mt.  They are still high on Brazilian soybeans at 114 mt relative to USDA’s 112 mt.
   # USDA will update its balance sheet estimates on March 8th.  Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg look for U.S. corn carryout to come down about 50 million bushels from the latest 2.352 billion bushel guess.  The average trade guess calls for soybean carryout steady with the last report at 530 million bushels.  
   # Oil futures reversed out of early losses as the dollar dropped.  Energies remain generally defensive as U.S. production levels rise.  Active U.S. oil rigs increased by one unit to 800, which is 191 more than a year ago.

***** April and June live cattle futures start with a test of support from their 50-day moving averages; hogs headed toward an old low but turning near-run oversold. ***** 

   # Cattle futures dipped lower along with the stock market, with weakness for equities painting a negative picture for consumer demand potential.  Exportable ag commodities were also facing general pressure related to trade war fears.  
   # Hogs made a small technical bounce to end the week.  Upside momentum was not sustained as bearishness from outside markets spilled over into the hog trade.  A move up for pork prices helped to keep sellers at bay.