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Hogs: Afternoon Comments (Thursday, July 20, 2017 20:31:06)

Lean hog futures saw mixed trade for much of the day, but the market faced heavy pressure into the close. As a result, futures settled steady to $1.47 1/2 lower for the day, with the August contract leading losses. Bull spread unwinding lifted deferred months at the expense of nearby contracts for much of the day, but aggressive selling in the cattle complex late in the session caused lean hogs to extend losses and finish steady to lower across the board as well.

Traders continue to signal they expect a big drop in the cash hog market near-term, as the August contract holds more than an $11 discount to the cash hog index. But the index has stabilized above the $92 mark and cash prices have been mixed this week as oppressive heat for much of the Midwest makes farmers reluctant to market their animals.




Soybeans: Afternoon Comments (Thursday, July 20, 2017 20:29:14)

Soybean futures enjoyed strong gains today and the market ended high range and up 13 1/4 to 14 1/2 cents for the day. Hot, dry conditions across much of the Midwest that are expected to continue through month's end lifted the soybean market today. Recent such weather has weighed on crop ratings over the past month and today's Drought Monitor confirmed drought is spreading across Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. In addition, the National Weather Service's outlook for August calls for continued heat nationwide, while providing little direction on precip prospects.

Steep losses in the U.S. dollar index and an impressive showing in today's Weekly Export Sales Report added to the positive tone.

After the market closed, word came that Argentina's ag ministry cuts its 2016-17 soybean crop estimate by 2 MMT to 55 MMT, citing larger-than-expected corn plantings.






Corn: Afternoon Comments (Thursday, July 20, 2017 20:28:20)

Corn futures were firmer throughout the day and ended high-range with gains of 5 1/2 to 8 1/2 cents through the 2018 contracts. Nearby futures led gains. Futures were supported by weather concerns, as an extreme heat advisory is in effect for a large portion of the central Corn Belt through Saturday, maintaining concerns about pollinating corn. Additionally, recent rains skirted north of the main production areas and brought localized flooding to southern Wisconsin and surrounding areas. This morning's extended outlook from the National Weather Service calls for above-normal temps to linger the remainder of the growing season, which adds to yield concerns (see "Evening Report" for more).

A sharply lower tone in the U.S. dollar index and this morning's weekly export sales data added to price support. Weekly sales of 466,500 MT for 2016-17 and 212,100 MT for 2017-18 were near the upper end of expectations.






Wheat: Afternoon Comments (Thursday, July 20, 2017 20:29:45)

Wheat futures saw two-sided trade today, but bulls had the advantage at the close. This helped the winter wheat market to close roughly 2 to 4 cents higher for the day, with spring wheat up 2 1/2 to 7 3/4 cents. Wheat futures initially faced some profit-taking as the battered state of the spring wheat crop is well known, leaving the market vulnerable for a correction. Plus traders noted rains fell in the Northern Plains and some cooler temps are forecast next week.

But early losses eventually led to some bargain buying as traders noted a return of heat in the forecast for the remainder of the spring wheat growing season as well as a strong showing in today's Weekly Export Sales Report. A solid drop in the greenback and gains for corn and soybean futures added spillover support.




Cotton: Afternoon Comments (Thursday, July 20, 2017 20:30:23)

Cotton futures ended the day high-range and with gains of 58 to 87 cents, with nearbys leading gains. Cotton benefited from followthrough from yesterday's gains and a weaker tone in the U.S. dollar index. This morning's weekly export sales data was also mildly supportive. Sales of 27,200 running bales were reported for the 2016-17 marketing year that ends soon, with sales of 166,200 bales for 2017-18.

The high-range close gives bulls the upper hand heading into tomorrow's session, but expectations for a large crop limit the market's upside potential.



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