Top Farmer Midday 3-5-19

Corn: Corn futures are slightly higher this morning so far, trying to push through some nearby resistance levels. Mar corn is up 1 cent to 3.66, May corn is up 1 cent to 3.75-3/4, and July corn is up 1-1/4 cents to 3.84-1/2. Dec corn is up 1-1/4 cents to 3.97. With below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation forecasted through March 18th in the Midwest, talk of a late spring and delayed corn plantings continues to swirl. In addition, a growing sense of optimism about U.S. trade negotiations is very supportive, with some expecting Chinese purchases of up to 5 to 8 million tons of corn from the U.S. if a trade agreement is reached. Of course, this is just speculation, but the talk is there. Technically, the nearby corn futures are trading near the highs of the day and well of the session lows. New crop Dec corn is trying to push through its 10-day moving average resistance level. During yesterday’s session, funds bought about 2,000 contracts of corn and are thought to be net short about 129,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are struggling to find buyers on yesterday’s positive, though not necessarily strong closes. Mar beans are down 5-1/2 to 8.97-3/4, May beans are down 6-1/4 cents to 9.09-3/4, and July beans are down 6-1/2 cents to 9.23-1/2. New crop Nov soybeans are down 6-1/4 cents to 9.44-1/4. South American weather continues to be beneficial for the soybean crop, keeping some of the enthusiasm at bay. Calendar spread weakness was also noted yesterday, with the May/July soybean spread closing at contract lows. It appears as though most of today’s weakness is tied to yesterday’s disappointing closes. While prices did gain 4 to 5 cents on the day, the nearby Nov contract only finished 3 cents off the day’s lows after trading with intraday highs as much as 10 cents off the day’s lows. During Monday’s session, funds bought 4,000 contracts of soybeans and are thought to be net short about 57,000 contracts.

Wheat: Wheat markets are trying to gather themselves after recent weakness. May Chi wheat is up 2-1/2 cents to 4.58, May KC wheat is up 2-1/4 cents to 4.45-1/4, and May Mpls wheat is up 1-3/4 cents to 5.53-3/4. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat for Mar delivery were reported at 226.00 per ton FOB by the end of last week. This is a drop of 8.00 from the previous week. Another Moscow based trade house recorded Russian FOB prices down 5.00 for the week at 235.50 per ton. Given world wheat’s price weakness, it shouldn’t be much of a shock to see U.S. prices down. However, technicals are very oversold, and given a less than ideal winter and extremely low winter wheat acres in the U.S this year, there still could be some upside later on. Funds sold 2,000 contracts of wheat on Monday and are thought to be net short about 78,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are mixed to mostly lower on follow through pressure this morning. Apr lives are up 30 cents to 128.65, June lives are steady at 119.80, and Aug lives are down 5 cents to 115.70. Mar feeders are down 32 cents to 140.87, and Apr feeders are down 35 cents to 144.67. Apr live cattle closed just above their 20-day moving average support level yesterday afternoon. Prices opened up below that line this morning, but have since climbed back above. June lives showed similar price action, closing just above their 10-day moving average yesterday, then starting below this morning. Momentum indicators are pointing lower, but extremely difficult weather for weight gain makes sellers a little more hesitant to take action. While live cattle are still very close to contract highs, feeder contracts are creeping towards the low end of their recent ranges.

Hogs: Hog markets are up this morning, drawing solid buyer interest on improving cash fundamentals. Apr hogs are up 1.10 to 58.42, Jun hogs are up 1.22 to 76.40, and Jul hogs are up 1.02 to 78.60. Carcass bellies have begun to bounce, with pork production last week coming in less than 2% above last year’s pace. This is a welcomed development considering production has been running 5% to 7% ahead of last year’s pace. Apr hogs have moved through their 20-day moving average level for the first time since January 18th and a close above would be the first since January 10th. The summer month contracts are near the top ends of their recent trading ranges with Jul hogs just below their 200-day moving average resistance level.




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