Top Farmer Midday Update 3-14-18

CORN: Corn futures are fractionally lower in listless trade as participants step back from the recent rally. Today’s Weekly Ethanol Statistics showed 106.6 mil bu of corn was used in last week’s ethanol production versus the 104.69 mil bu needed (weekly) to meet the USDA target of 5.575 bil bu this marketing year. Weekly Export Sales will be out tomorrow following a steady dose of morning corn sales by USDA, so far this month. May corn down 3/4 cent to 3.91, with yesterday’s new high for the move at 3.85-1/4 containing today’s gains. Nearby Mar corn contracts expire today near 3.85. Dec is down 1/2 cent to 4.09-1/4.

SOYBEANS:Soybean futures are down 2-1/2 cents in the nearby May contract to 10.46-1/4. Nov beans are down 4 to 10.40. Our brokerage clearing firm estimates managed money net long 167,000 contracts of soybeans; net long 105,000 lots of soymeal, and; net short 9,000 lots of soyoil.Trading is light ahead of tomorrow’s NOPA crush and USDA Weekly Export Sales. NOPA February soybean crush is expected to be 149.443 mil bu. Analysts also estimate soyoil stocks among NOPA members at the end of February at 1.766 bil lbs, up 2.2% from 1.728 bil lbs at the end of January, and just below February 2017 stocks of 1.770 bil lbs. If realized, stocks would be the largest since March 2017. Estimates for soyoil stocks ranged from 1.653 bil to 1.840 bil lbs. Weather-wise, South America still has two rounds of meaningful precipitation events forecasted for Argentina into Monday. Brazil has daily scattered shower and thunderstorm activity seen in most crop areas.

WHEAT: Winter wheat futures erased early-morning weakness and are now firm led by KC contracts. May CBOT wheat is up 1-1/4 cents to 4.87-3/4. May KC wheat is up 3-1/4 cents to 5.23-1/2. Managed money is net short an estimated 46,000 contracts of SRW wheat. The trade is exhibiting caution after retracing a quarter of the recent rally as 76.7% of Kansas, the topwheat-growing state, remains in drought, according to official data. U.S. HRW wheat production areas hold little precipitation over the next 7 to 10 days, though the longer range forecast does have some weather activity forming.

CATTLE: Cattle futures are higher with Apr live cattle contracts up 1.825 to 123.725. The only (2) lots of steers offered in today’s online Fed Cattle Exchange sold for $127/cwt, the upper ranges of last week’s cash trade. Some other sales were seen pushing $128/cwt. Jun cattle are up .925 to 114.075 in early dealings. Both nearby fat cattle contracts are solidly entrenched in the mid-range of their respective trading ranges. Apr feeders are up 1.750 to 144.050.

HOGS:Hog futures mixed with nearby Apr down .450 to 67.250 as softer cash trade weighs on sentiment. Most bids are expected steady to 50 cents/cwt lower. May hogs are up .150 to 72.000; and Jun futures are up .275 to 77.750.

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