AgriVisor Afternoon Marketwatch

Friday, January 11, 2019
***** Corn futures ended 2 higher; soybeans 3-4 higher; Chicago wheat 5-6 higher. *****  

   # Today was supposed to be crop report day. The government shutdown delayed the Crop Production, WASDE, Grain Stocks, and Winter Wheat Seedings reports. Instead, private companies were taking the opportunity to tout their own crop projections in a move to generate/build their subscription bases.  But the corn/soy yield numbers were not much different than trade expectations, 178 bu. for corn and 51.8 bu. for soybeans
   # The wheat trade continues to focus on news surrounding Russia and their export sales. This week’s 415,000 ton sale to Egypt was a bit of a surprise.  The govt. is seen as putting soft pressure on exporters to rein in sales, especially with domestic prices continuing to move to new highs. 
   # Investment houses continue to tout commodities as an investment in 2019.  By Monday, the big index funds should have most, if not all, of their portfolio rebalancing complete. 
   # China remains in the spotlight, especially after the apparent progress on the early week meetings.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed on Thursday that China’s top negotiator will be coming to the U.S. to resume talks later this month. 
   # Central Illinois is bracing for snow totals in the 6-14 inch range on Saturday’s snow storm. The storm is being called Winter Storm Gia now that winter storm warnings have reached more than 2 million people in coverage. Both the 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks include colder than normal weather into month’s end for much of the Midwest, although extreme cold doesn’t seem to be a part of the mix. Both show above normal moisture totals suggesting more snow is on the way.
   # Rain is in the forecast for Brazil this weekend, although amounts may not be that beneficial. Generally, forecasters see a possibility this drier trend could persist, with a possibility the area could expand north.
   # AgRural indicated Brazil’s soybean harvest is 2% complete. Parana is thought to be 6% done, with Mato Grosso 4% done. Those are the #2 and #1 states respectively. 2nd crop corn planting is just beginning, and will be slow to accelerate until more soybeans are harvested. 
   # A lot of attention is being absorbed by the different actions being taken/proposed to end the govt. shutdown.  So far though neither side seems to have come up with a pathway to end the stalemate. 
   # Outside markets are mostly quiet, in part because the shutdown is curtailing the amount of economic data flowing into the system. Oil ended the week on a defensive tone with some technicians believing this week’s highs lifted prices back to stronger resistance levels.  

***** Cattle futures ended $0.17 lower to $0.45 higher; feeder cattle ended $0.62 lower to $.0.12 higher; lean hogs ended $0.50-$1.42 lower. ***** 

   # Wholesale beef prices ended moderately lower with choice at $212.46. Cash trade was lighter than expected with live animals trading from $120-$123, with isolate reports of $124. Packers appear in no hurry to buy cattle with pinched margins.  
   # Wholesale pork ended slightly higher with the #2 cutout at $70.96. Cash hog prices were slightly lower with the recent surge tightening margins. Hog numbers are more than enough to meet packer needs. The lack of details about the China trade negotiations is creating some hesitancy, along with the lack of news from the export sector.