Top Farmer Midday Update 12-7-18
Stewart-Peterson Commentary - SPC - Fri Dec 14, 10:59AM CST

Corn: Corn futures are 2 to 3 cents higher today, with Dec at 3.74-1/2, Mar at 3.85-1/2, and May at 3.92-3/4. Mar corn is currently just 1-1/4 off of Wednesday's highs, and significant movement above would likely trigger more buy orders. Spillover buying from the soybean market has been the main source of support. On this morning's export sales report, a total of 1.178 million metric tons of corn were reported sold for the week ending November 29. This was down 7% from last week but up 26% from the previous 4-week average. Funds sold 4,000 contracts of corn yesterday and are now long about 12,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are trying to close out the week on a good note, with Jan up 7 cents to 9.16-1/2, Mar up 6-1/2 cents to 9.28-1/2, and May up 6-3/4 cents to 9.41-1/4. The marketplace apparently has regained confidence in U.S./China trade talks as reports have surfaced that President Trump did not know about plans to arrest the China tech executive earlier this week. Buyers are also active on yesterday's impressive price action toward the end of the day. South American weather has been mixed, with the northern half seeing above normal rainfall, but forecasts show drier weather for the second half of the month. There is also some talk of excess water increasing the odds for fungus disease. Argentina is dry and should stay dry for the next week or so, but extended forecasts show rains on the way. The USDA reported 891,000 metric tons of U.S. beans sold for the week ending November 29. This is up 42% from last week and up 87% from the previous 4-week average. Funds sold about 4,000 contracts of beans yesterday and are now short about 59,000 contracts.

Wheat: Wheat markets are sharply higher this morning, finding buyers on very impressive export numbers recently. Mar Chi wheat is up 13-3/4 cents to 5.29-1/4, Mar KC wheat is up 14-3/4 cents to 5.10-1/4, and Mar Mpls wheat is up 9 cents to 5.78-1/4. The recent weakness of wheat markets, in addition to some Black Sea political instability, has made U.S. wheat very competitive on export markets. The USDA reported a flash sale today of 224,000 metric tons of hard red winter wheat for delivery to unknown destinations. Export sales data was also bullish, with almost 712,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat sold for the week ending November 29. This is up 89% from last week and up 58% from the previous 4-week average. Funds sold about 2,000 contracts of wheat yesterday and are now short about 58,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are slightly lower this morning, with Dec lives down 25 cents to 117.70, Feb lives are down 50 cents to 121.30, and Apr lives are down 80 cents to 122.67. Jan feeders are down 75 cents to 143.45 and Mar feeders are down 70 cents to 141.25. Though prices are lower, live cattle futures have rallied back above nearby support levels. Feeder contracts are still within recent consolidation levels, though a break below the lows from mid-November would be a very bearish technical development. Prices appear to be on hold for reports of cash trade above $118, the highest reported sales for earlier this week that are also steady with trade last week. Weather for the next few days is mixed, with southern Plains expected to be very wet but NE, KS, and the Dakotas should be very dry.

Hogs: Hog markets are slightly higher this morning, recovering after some early morning losses. Dec is up 20 cents to 54.72, Feb is up 50 cents to 67.40, and Apr is up 50 cents to 71.77. Renewed optimism about U.S. and China trade talks is the main source of support, along with a solid trend to pork values recently. China bought 2,400 metric tons of pork for the week ending November 29. This is not an enormous total, but considering the current tariffs of about 62% on U.S. pork products, this is a very supportive number.

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