Top Farmer Midday Update 02-08-18

CORN: Corn futures are firm in a ‘yawner’ reaction to today’s monthly USDA data. Mar corn, though, has hit its highest price level since last October 25 to 3.67-3/4 on gains of 3-1/2 cents, and is now fractionally higher at 3.66, probably due to wheat turning lower. Dec is steady at 3.94-3/4. USDA projects U.S. corn ending stocks down to 2.352 bil bu, a cut of 125 mil bu due directly to the projected bump in exports. Exports were raised based on increased U.S. price competitiveness because of the weaker dollar and reduced export projections for Argentina and Ukraine. Argentine corn production was lowered 2.8 mil metric tons to 39 mil because of the heat and dryness in January and early February. Brazil's projected corn production held pat at 95 mil metric tons. Weekly Export Sales, at 1.77 mil tons (70 mil bu), fell within trade estimates, but short of last week’s 1.85 mil ton figure. However, overall exports are picking up. Outside markets show crude down 60 cents, the dollar up 7 points, and the closely watched Dow down 283 points.

SOYBEANS:Soybean futures are off 1 to 2 cents putting Mar beans at 9.81-1/2 and Nov at 9.98-3/4. For the second straight month, USDA lowered U.S. soybean exports for the 2017-18 crop. Globally, USDA also increased projected soybean production in Brazil as well. U.S. soybean exports were lowered for the second straight month, which has boosted projected 2017-18 soybean ending stocks by 60 million bushels to 530 mil bushels. The rationale for lower soybean exports was due to lower shipments and sales through January as well as increased export competition from those larger supplies in Brazil. Production for Brazil was increased to 112 MMT. Argentine soybean production was dropped 2 mil to 54 MMT due to lower harvested area and reduced yield from unseasonable heat and dryness. USDA Weekly Export Sales were above trade guesses coming in at 743,200 tons (27.3 mil bu) for the 2017-18 crop and 8,400 tons for 2018-19.

WHEAT: Winter wheat futures are down 7 to 8 cents. Stocks for the 2017-18 crop were bumped up 20 mil bu to 1.009 bil bu. Exports were lowered by 25 mil bu but USDA bumped up domestic food use for wheat by 5 mil bu. U.S. exports were lowered because of higher expected exports from Argentina, Russia, and Canada. USDA Weekly Export Sales came in about as expected at 393,400 tons (14.5 mil bu) and 22,100 tons for 2018-19. May CBOT wheat is at 4.66-1/2, KC May is at 4.88, and MPLS Sep wheat is up a penny to 6.37-3/4.

CATTLE:Cattle futures have turned higher in recent trading, possibly due to some higher cash market activity? Feb fat cattle are up 1.325 to 126.925, Apr up .1.425 to 125.400, and Mar feeders up 1.450 to 149.750.

HOGS:Hog futures are narrowly mixed after tumbling through support mid-week. Feb hogs are down .150 to 73.700. Apr hogs are up .075 to 69.300. Lower cutouts and cash hog bids were seen pushing futures lower this week, though open interest remains fairly strong.

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