Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - March 19, 2018

Top Farmer Midday Update 3-19-18

CORN: Corn futures are 5 cents lower, as lower beans and wheat weigh on sentiment. A bearish weekly reversal last week is also adding some technical perspective to today’s price weakness. The nearby May contract gapped lower at the beginning of last night’s session, and is down 5-1/4 cents to 3.77-1/2 while trading below the 200-day moving average for the first time since March 1. Dec corn is back below $4, at 3.98-3/4. Good Weekly Export Inspections, at 1.409 mil tons (55.5 mi bu), and a 24 point drop in the dollar have done little to keep corn futures from drifting lower to start the week. There were two export announcements this morning; USDA said 206,000 tons of corn was sold to Japan for 2018-19; and 115,000 tons were sold to an unknown destination for 2017-18.

SOYBEANS:Soybean futures are sharply lower, tumbling to a base of support formed at recent daily lows, due in part to weekend rains in Argentina. May is down 22 cents to 10.27-1/2 where the contract’s 40-day moving average has been serving as support on this price pullback. Nov beans are down 16-1/2 cents to 10.24-1/2. The latest commitment of traders report, weather, and tariff talk appear to be the lead factors for the retreat. Managed money was much more net long beans and meal than estimated. Weekly Export Inspections came in at 490,536 tons (18 mil bu), much lower than last week.

WHEAT: Winter wheat futures are down hard after gapping lower and running into sell-stops below the market. Weather forecasts in the U.S. Plains call for an active system to bring above average precipitation to much of the Plains in the next 10 days; only the panhandles and southwest Kansas are to see light amounts of rain. We’ll get Weekly Crop Ratings today after the close. May KC wheat, down 24 cents to 4.75-1/2, is back within the contract’s February price range. May CBOT wheat is down 14 cents to 4.53-3/4. Weekly Export Inspections were non-supportive, coming in at 443,269 tons (16.3 mil bu).

CATTLE: Cattle futures are softer as the path of least resistance points lower. Apr cattle are off .350 to 120.900, while heading in the opposite direction from last week’s cash market activity near $127/cwt. Jun cattle are down .750 to 111.000, and Apr feeders are down .525 to 139.675, all new multi-week lows.

HOGS:Hog futures are down more than $1.00/cwt per contract, including a fresh low in the nearby Apr to 64.050 on losses of 1.400 as lower cash (every day last week) weighs. We could see cash trade as much as $2.00/cwt lower today. May and Jun hogs are down 1.450 and 1.700, though still mid-range of last week’s lower trading ranges.

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