Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - December 13, 2017

Top Farmer Midday Update 12-13-17

CORN: Corn futures are 1 to 2 cents higher with little trade volume noted. March corn is at 3.49-1/2, 2 cents off yesterday’s fresh contract low. Managed Money (funds) remain short a substantial (estimated) 180,000 corn contracts and may look to lighten their position ahead of the new year, which could help put a low in the market. However, rally potential is extremely limited given the lack of supportive fundamentals and threatening weather in S. America. That said, corn usage for ethanol production is the bright spot in the demand-side of the equation, according to the latest USDA metrics. In tender activity Turkey seeks 156,000 tons of optional-origin corn; S. Korea bought 67,000 tons of optional-origin corn. In outside markets, crude is now down 36 cents, the dollar down 22 points.

SOYBEANS:Soybean futures are quietly trading 1 to 2 cents higher in the lower half of yesterday’s lower trading ranges, and about a nickel off of today’s session highs. Mar beans, at 9.88-2/4 are sitting on the contract’s 100-day moving average awaiting the next wave of buying, or selling to occur. There is little change in South America’s weather forecast from Tuesday, and with the latest USDA data priced in, tomorrow’s Weekly Export Sales are the next tidbit of information for the market. No bean exports were reported this morning by USDA as China appears to be on the sidelines awaiting South America’s bean crop prospects.

WHEAT:Wheat futures are up 2-1/4 cents to 4.13 in the Mar CBOT contract after closing lower for the seventh consecutive session on Tuesday. The move to new contract lows has left winter wheat contracts technically oversold and ripe for a correction. If short-covering, or new buying fails to materialize though, a major target from the weekly continuation chart is seen at 3.94-1/2. On the upside, the 4.24 1/4 low from November 28 remains resistance.

CATTLE:Cattle futures are now lower after bids at the online auction failed to reflect interest of packers at higher prices. One pen of 75 head sold at $116/cwt and all other lots went unsold. Trading remains at a standstill. Dec live cattle, down .300 to 115.850, are trading an ‘inside day’ near the contract’s 100-day moving average. Feb is down .650 to 118.500, and April is down .725 to 120.250. Mar feeders are down .625 to 144.675.

HOGS:Hog futures are higher in what’s considered technical trading aided by short-covering. Dec is up marginally (.125) while breaking a pennant formation ahead of that contract’s expiration on Thursday. Feb and Apr, up .800 to 67.325 and 71.975, respectively, are trading a bullish looking ‘outside’ day, and the May contract is up .525 to 77.300 while filling a gap left from yesterday’s lower trade. Early cash calls were for steady to $1.00/cwt lower, but that may have changed as packers look to fill Saturday’s production needs.

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