Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - December 14, 2017

Top Farmer Opening Calls 12-14-17

CORN: Corn futures are firm as the trade watches South American weather where conditions are deemed "okay" according to sources in the region. The March corn contract, at 3.49-1/2, up 1/2 cent, takes over as the lead month when Dec goes off the board at noon today. The trend is bearish with prices hovering above contract low support while trying to find a seasonal low. The low in March corn is at 3.47-1/2. For now, we'll look for choppy and consolidative trade between the contract low and resistance at 3.53 and then $3.60 1/2. This morning's USDA Weekly Export Sales were within trade estimates at 866,900 tons (34 mil bu). Outside markets have crude off 45 cents and the dollar up 10 points this morning.

SOYBEANS:The soybean complex is lower with Jan beans down 5-1/2 cents to 9.85 as benign South American weather weighs on sentiment. Jan beans have now broke 100-day moving average support and are headed for the 200-day at 9.82-1/2. This morning's USDA Weekly Export Sales were above trade estimates at 1.45 mil tons (53.3 mil bu) for 2017-18 marketing year crop; 113,200 tons (4 mil bu) for 2018-19. Meal sales also quite strong pushing year-to-date ahead of a year ago. However, the South American weather forecast calls for rains across all of Argentina over the weekend and the end of next week. Things are dry in southern Brazil for the weekend but good rains are seen next week with rains to continue in northern Brazil. The 6-10 day forecast has close to average rainfall for northern Brazil.

WHEAT:Wheat futures are up 2 to 3 cents to 4.18-3/4 and 4.19-1/4 in March CBOT and KC contracts, respectively. In the March CBOT contract, the trend is bearish, but short-term support and a minor base have formed at 4.10-1/2. The contract became slightly overextended technically and oversold earlier this week. That leaves March wheat vulnerable to a consolidation phase. On the upside, the 4.24-1/4 low from Nov. 28 remains resistance. On the downside, a major bearish target from the weekly continuation wheat chart is seen at 3.94-1/2. Nearby Dec contracts expire at noon today. This morning's USDA Weekly Export Sales were better than trade estimates coming in at 588,800 tons (21.6 mil bu) for 2017-18; 9,500 tons for 2018-19.

CATTLE:Cattle futures are firm after trading an 'inside day' in fat cattle contracts on Wednesday. Dec cattle are up .250 to 115.900. Feb is up .225 to 118.600, and April cattle are up .100 to 120.350. March feeders start the day up .250 to 144.300. Cash trade, meanwhile, is largely undefined. Bids at Wednesday's online auction, where $118/cwt was sought unfolded with only one pen of 75 head sold at $116.

HOGS:Hog futures are lower. Dec is trading near 64.000 ahead of that contract's noon CT expiration. The Feb contract is down .450 to 66.350 after closing within the contract's 100-day moving average above, and 200-day below at 66.425 on Wednesday. Cash trade is called $1.00 to $2.00 lower today. April hogs are off .400 to 71.075.