Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - January 23, 2018

Top Farmer Midday Update 01-23-18

CORN: Corn futures are off 1-1/2 cents to 3.50-1/4 in the Mar contract, slumping back to the contract's trio of near-term moving averages as the trade plugs along in a narrow range above contract lows. There was an export sale reported this morning of 256,096 tons of corn going to an unknown destination for 2017-18. Outside markets are generally holding a positive stance for corn with crude on the verge of making a new high on gains of 89 cents and the dollar, down 23 points to a new low. However, managed money, net short at estimated 218,000 corn contracts, will need more bullish fundamentals begin shedding positions.

SOYBEANS: Soybean futures are down fractionally after starting the day up 3 to 4 cents before sliding as much as 4 cents while forming an 'outside day' on the daily chart. Mar beans are down 3/4 cent to 9.83-1/2. Nov beans are off a penny to 9.99-1/2 after trading as high as 10.03-1/2. Meal is down $1 to $2/ton, but is seen helping guide beans higher as the U.S. export sales pace for meal and limited availability of South American meal supplies at this point are viewed as supportive factors. The advance in meal has spurred the losses versus soyoil, new high ground in crushing margins, and a return to inverses in old/new crop spreads for meal and beans. In South America, rainfall amounts over the 6 to 10 day period for Argentina remain limited and Brazil is attempting to step up their harvest progress and farmer sell rate.

WHEAT: Wheat futures are lower after failing to push higher with the funds dug-in to their net short positions in SRW wheat. May CBOT contracts are down 4-1/2 cents to 4.34, May KC down 5 to 4.37; and May MPLS wheat is unchanged at 6.16-1/2.

CATTLE: Cattle futures are firm after rallying to start the week on weather. A winter storm system has shuttered a few plants and backed things up to, what is now expected to be a larger Saturday slaughter. Moderating weather forecasts may lead to two-sided trade with prices having already rallied on stronger cash. The on-line auction on Wednesday will serve as an early barometer to this week's cash trade with activity is expected to be non-existent today. Feb cattle are up .200 to 12.750, stalling at yesterday's high. Apr cattle are up .150 to 124.125. Mar feeders are up .420 to 146.250.

HOGS: Hog futures are lower at mid-session with the exception of a .125 gain the nearby Feb contract to 71.925. Apr is down .825 to 74.300. The trend is still positive with normal retracement activity keeping contract high resistance serving as a stronger ceiling for contracts. Cash hog bids are expected to be steady to firm.

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