US Agriculture after the Closing Bell Report

Wheat futures staged a choppy day of trade at all 3 exchanges Thursday, but market Bears gained momentum into the close. Chicago Wheat posted slight losses on the week. The Winter Wheat crop is off to a quick and favorable start. Recent state-by-state crop condition reports have shown improvement over year-ago.

Old-crop corn futures finished well off the daily highs but with slight gains. New-crop futures ended high-range with gains of around 0.06 to 0.07. Corn futures ended higher on the week. An early start to Spring has many farmers ready to get in the fields, but a crop insurance limit on the earliest planting date has kept many out of the fields.

Old-crop Soybean futures led gains today and finished near weekly highs. New-crop futures posted lesser gains today and finished off weekly highs, although solidly higher for the week. While fundamentals are strong and attitudes are Bullish, Soybean futures could face profit-taking pressure Monday as traders gear up for Tuesday's Supply & Demand Report from USDA.

Cotton futures posted sharp losses for the week to bring the market near its Mar lows. Violation of these Mar lows in the nearby contracts could trigger sell stops. Traders returned their focus to the plentiful Global stocks situation this week, which weighed on prices. Adding to Bearish attitudes on Thursday was this morning's Weekly Export Sales Report, which showed net sales reductions of 143,700 running bales due to cancellations by China and Brazil.

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Hog futures ended moderately to sharply higher on the day and posted strong gains for the week. Follow through buying early next week would strongly suggest near-term lows have been posted. Traders are becoming more confident the pork cutout market has posted a near-term low, with retailers expected to put their post-Easter focus on Pork features.

Live Cattle futures saw light short-covering today, but posted sharp losses for the week on demand concerns. April live Cattle ended the week at around a 2.50 discount to the bottom of this week's 121 to 123 cash Cattle range. Contracts are severely oversold according to the 9-day Relative Strength Index, signaling attitudes are Bearish as well as the need for a time or price correction.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

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Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels. Read the Terms of Service