Top Farmer Midday Update 3-15-19

Corn: Corn markets are moving higher again this morning, trading right around overhead resistance at the 20-day moving average levels. May corn is up 2-1/2 cents to 3.72-3/4, Jul is up 2-1/4 cents to 3.81-3/4, and Dec corn is up 1-1/2 cents to 3.95-1/2. Today's session is the third in a row that corn futures are testing the 20-day moving average resistance levels for the new crop Dec contract. A close above would be very significant for Dec, and the first since February 22. For the week, Jul corn is so far up 8-1/4 cents and Dec is up 7 cents. Prices are still under the influence of bullish key reversals made earlier this week on contract lows, and given the current supply and demand fundamentals, corn looks to be at a value level. During yesterday's session, funds bought 17,000 contracts of corn and are now thought to be net short about 180,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean markets are trading higher this morning finding continued strength from yesterday's export sales data. May beans are up 7-1/4 cents to 9.05-3/4, Jul beans are up 7 to 9.19-1/4, and Nov beans are up 6-1/2 cents to 9.39-1/4. Bean sales yesterday totaling 1.912 million metric tonnes was over four times what was needed on a weekly basis to meet USDA demand and expectations, and most of that was sold to China. Though the market is expecting a U.S./China deal to be delayed until April, Trump made positive comments yesterday that seemed to indicate the two sides are close to a deal. The Nov contract this morning was stopped at its overhead at its 20-day moving average resistance level. A close above would be the first since February 13. During Thursday's session, funds sold about 3,000 contracts of beans and are now thought to be net short about 81,000 contracts.

Wheat: Wheat markets are higher yet again today after testing nearby support levels early on. May Chi wheat is up 6-1/4 cents to 4.59, May KC wheat is up 5-3/4 cents to 4.42-1/4, and May Mpls wheat was up 1 cent to 5.53-1/2. Chi wheat in the May contract is up 19-3/4 cents so far for the week and is on track to put in its first weekly positive close since the last week of January. Interesting enough, Chi wheat futures are still oversold on weekly charts despite a sharp bounce this week. Winter wheat spreads are mostly steady so far this morning, and most of the wheat support this week has been due to a flurry of tender activity in Algeria, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Tunisia this week. Speculative funds covered about 6,000 contracts of wheat in Chi yesterday and are thought to be net short about 75,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are finding some strong buying interest this morning, with some of the deferred live cattle contracts pushing to new highs. Apr live cattle are up 92 cents to 128.32, Jun lives are up 95 cents to 121.30, and Aug lives are up 75 cents to 117.20. Apr feeders are up 2.20 to 146.85 and May feeders are up 1.55 to 147.90. Beef prices, though slightly lower yesterday afternoon, have held very strong recently. Extremely difficult feed lot conditions in the Plains have been the main source of support, with weights continuing to drop and pulling production lower as well. Cattle markets may also be finding some spillover buying from the hog markets today, up sharply yet again. Cash trade in the cattle markets so far has been seen at $127, slightly lower than last week, but given today's strength and difficult feed lot conditions, we could see cash trade higher still later on this afternoon.

Hogs: Hog markets are showing triple-digit gains this morning, with Apr up 1.70 to 67.50, Jun up 2.42 to 85.95, and Jul up 2.40 to 88.77. As China pork and pig prices continue to rally, their hog herd is shrinking rapidly. U.S. pork production has been lower than recent weeks, helping support both cash pork prices and the CME Lean Hog Index. Yesterday's export sales data was also very strong, showing China's third largest weekly purchase of U.S. pork since 2013.

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