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Hogs: Afternoon Comments (Friday, April 21, 2017 20:37:34)

Lean hog futures finished 22 1/2 to 77 1/2 cents lower through the December contract. For the week, June lean hogs dropped another $4.17 1/2. Hog futures are oversold, but that doesn't guarantee selling pressure will ease next week. In fact, pressure on futures is likely to continue if the cash hog market remains under pressure. And we anticipate further weakness in the cash hog market as market-ready supplies are hefty. The upside in lean hog futures will be limited to mild corrective selling until there are signs the cash hog market has bottomed. Typically, a low in the cash market comes in late spring and then futures rally into mid-summer as market supplies tighten. With slaughter numbers continuing to run well above year-ago and above levels implied in the Hogs & Pigs Report, there are questions about how much of a seasonal rally the hog market will see this year.

Soybeans: Afternoon Comments (Friday, April 21, 2017 20:39:34)

Soybean futures finished with gains of 3 3/4 to 5 3/4 cents through the November contract, with new-crop leading gains. For the week, July soybean futures dropped 5 1/2 cents, while the November contract retreated 2 1/4 cents. The weight of the record South American crop and expectations that will slow export demand for U.S. soybeans continues to limit the upside in soybean futures. With that said, we don't expect funds to build an aggressive short position in the soybean market. In fact, it wouldn't surprise us to see a corrective price rebound. Seasonally, soybean sales and shipments have slowed, but both are tracking well above the pace needed to hit USDA's current export forecast. Therefore, we feel USDA could add another 25 million bu. to 50 million bu. to its export estimate, even though South America is in the midst of exporting a record crop.

Corn: Afternoon Comments (Friday, April 21, 2017 20:38:56)

Corn ended the day marginally lower and posted losses for the week. May corn ended the week 14 cents lower on the week, with December corn down 12 1/2 cents. Bears clearly have the upper hand heading into next week, but futures are nearing oversold territory, which could trigger a bout of short-covering. Traders are also keeping an eye on the weather and expect some planting to occur this weekend given a more open forecast. But Monday's progress report will likely show planting still running behind the average pace and heavy rains are in the forecast by Wednesday next week. The market will remain sensitive to the pace of corn planting, as the "ideal" planting window will close in about a month. If a large chunk of the crop remains unplanted in late May, the risk of those acres shifting to soybeans rises, which would support prices. Large South American crops are a weight on the market, but there is still opportunity for short-covering, especially if funds begin to feel they are too aggressively short.

Wheat: Afternoon Comments (Friday, April 21, 2017 20:40:16)

Wheat futures traded in a narrow, choppy range today. The SRW wheat market ended fractionally to 1 1/4 cent lower, HRW wheat posted gains around 2 cents, and HRS wheat settled narrowly mixed. For the week, futures were lower. Freezing temps are a possibility as far south as the central High Plains over the weekend. How low temps drop and across what areas will be in focus early next week. Traders will also zero-in on USDA's crop progress and condition update next week. They expect recent wet weather to have boosted winter wheat ratings while slowing spring wheat planting efforts. Considering the slow start to spring wheat planting and the wet forecast for some key growing areas (including North Dakota) through May, traders will focus on the weather and spring wheat planting efforts. If planting remains slow-going, some acres could shift to soybeans. And all wheat acres are already expected to be historically low.

Cotton: Afternoon Comments (Friday, April 21, 2017 20:40:57)

While May cotton futures faced profit-taking today that took back some of yesterday's sharp gains and resulted in a 108-point loss on the day, deferred months edged out slight gains of 7 to 22 points. Futures posted sharp gains for the week, with the May contract up 337 points. Wet weather likely slowed cotton planting last week, and the 6- to 10-day forecast calls for more soggy conditions for cotton country next week. USDA will provide an update on planting progress on Monday. While it is still early in the season, slow progress could garner increasing attention moving forward. The Climate Prediction Center's forecast for May calls for wet weather across much of the key producing state of Texas, which would slow planting. Any lengthy delays could spur talk of acreage shifts away from cotton. But if farmers are able to get the crop seeded in a timely fashion, the warm, wet forecast would be beneficial for early crop development. 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.