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Hogs: Afternoon Comments (Wednesday, March 22, 2017 20:32:36)

While the April lean hog contract enjoyed slight gains, the May through August contracts settled 22 1/2 to 57 1/2 cents lower and far-deferred months posted slight gains. Momentum clearly favors market bears, which kept most contracts under pressure for most of the day. Adding to the negative tone was a drop in the pork cutout value, though this encouraged better movement of 186.15 loads this morning. Today's heavier-than-expected frozen pork stocks for the end of February could weigh on the market again tomorrow (see "Evening Report" for more). But sharp gains in the cattle complex helped futures to finish well off session lows and mixed. In addition, traders noted recent steady to higher cash hog bids and a decline in weights from the previous week signal marketings are current -- a further indication of solid packer demand.

Soybeans: Afternoon Comments (Wednesday, March 22, 2017 20:34:36)

Soybean futures faced pressure for most of the day, but the market was able to pare losses at the close to end narrowly mixed. Of note, the front-month settled 1/4 cent below the $10.00 level. Soyoil futures posted solid gains, while soymeal ended modestly lower. Soybean futures faced pressure for much of the session as traders remain aware that a whopper of a crop is being harvested in Brazil, which will eventually slow demand for the U.S. oilseed. In addition, the market expects USDA to report U.S. soybean planting intentions at a record high next week.

But on the other hand, users continue to buy U.S. soybean supplies as prices are competitive and Brazilian farmers have been slow sellers of their crops.

Corn: Afternoon Comments (Wednesday, March 22, 2017 20:34:04)

Corn futures ended the day near its daily lows with losses of 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents. Funds sold an estimated 6,500 corn contracts (32.5 million bu.) today. Early pressure came on followthrough from yesterday's losses and spillover from soybeans, but corn extended losses even though soybeans came off their lows. A weaker tone in the U.S. dollar index somewhat helped limit losses, but traders' focus was on favorable weather for the pollinating safrinha crop in Brazil. Timely rains are building large yield expectations and traders expect crop estimates to be on the rise. Otherwise, there wasn't a lot of fresh news for the market to digest, with basis holding mostly steady across the Midwest today. Traders were somewhat discouraged by the latest weekly ethanol production data that showed output eased by 1,000 barrels per day from the previous week, but at the same time, stocks declined to their lowest level in more than a month.

Wheat: Afternoon Comments (Wednesday, March 22, 2017 20:35:10)

Winter wheat futures closed 4 1/4 to 5 3/4 cents lower, while spring wheat futures finished mixed. The winter wheats closed near their lows of the day and HRW futures led the decline. Fundamental analysis: Wheat futures were under pressure through the day due to continuing forecasts for much-needed precipitation later this week for the parched HRW area. Weakness in the corn market added to today's negative trade. Traders shrugged off the positive news Saudi Arabia overnight purchased 120,000 MT of U.S. HRW wheat for 2016-17. The slight weakness in the U.S. dollar index was also largely ignored as global wheat supplies are burdensome.

Cotton: Afternoon Comments (Wednesday, March 22, 2017 20:35:43)

Cotton futures closed 12 to 50 points higher through the December contract. The May contract led gains. Cotton futures bounced higher today on largely technical trading. Futures moved higher after failing to punch through support at yesterday's low, prompting short-covering. A slightly weaker U.S. dollar was supportive but crude oil futures were slightly weaker as well. Deferred contracts were weaker versus the front May contract on projections by private firms that 2017 cotton planted acreage could reach 12 million acres, up from USDA's projection of 11.5 million acres. is your source for ag news and information on crop pest identification, commodity and market prices, agricultural news & issues, and access to crop production management tools such as crop yield & planting calculators and herbicide, fungicide, and weed control information.