Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - January 17, 2018

Top Farmer Midday Update 01-17-18

CORN: Corn futures are up 4 cents to 3.52-1/4 in the Mar contract marking the third trading session this year with at least a 4 cent range. With managed money still net short a sizable (estimated 231,000) corn contracts, we may be seeing some short-covering after prices failed to move lower on an arguably bearish January crop report. Weekly Export Sales, normally scheduled for Thursdays, will be delayed until Friday, and yesterday’s Weekly Export Inspections confirmed sales are still either running behind a year ago or updated USDA projections. We would expect farmer selling to increase on any price bump, thus limiting upside potential. In outside markets crude and the dollar are firm.

SOYBEANS:Soybean futures are down 3 to 4 cents leading to ideas that the trade is selling beans and buying wheat and corn. Managed money was seen long beans, small net long in meal, and near net even in soyoil coming into today’s trade. Weather remains a focal point for the trade. Argentina’s rainfall was greater than expected overnight and Brazil’s weather is expected to remain nearly ideal during the next two weeks with only the northeast part of the nation still enduring dryness. Mar beans are down 4 to 9.63-3/4 while settling into the contract’s 10 and 20-day moving averages. There was an export sale this morning for the 2018-19 marketing year crop showing 130,000 tons (4.77 mil bu) going to an unknown destination.

WHEAT:Wheat futures are up after losing 15 cents the past two trading days. May CBOT wheat is up 3 cents to 4.33 while trading an ‘inside day’. May KC wheat, too, is consolidating inside Tuesday’s range and is up 2-1/4 cents to 4.37-3/4.

CATTLE:Cattle futures are posting triple digit gains fueled, in part, by today’s Fed Cattle Exchange showing one lot of 108 head sold at $119.75/cwt, a little better than last week, and almost $2.00/cwt higher that a bid on Tuesday. Feb live cattle are up 2.050 to 120.175 while defining a near-term low. Apr is up 1.550 to 121.925. Mar feeders are up 1.700 to 145.625.

HOGS:Hog futures are down in the front months, mostly steady in the back months on apparent bear-spreading. All contracts are trading an ‘inside day’ with contract high resistance holding for now. Feb hogs are down .825 to 73.050; Apr is down .325 to 75.825, and Jun & Jul are unchanged at 85.025 and 84.975, respectively.

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