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TFM Sunrise Update - February 21, 2020

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Corn futures are unchanged this morning. The USDA Outlook Forum conference yesterday estimated this year's planted acreage at a robust 94 mil acres. This exceeds what the trade expected estimates and would be a four year high and a source for keeping corn prices subdued. Last year's acreage was 89.7 mil. Additional USDA projections include 2020-21 corn prices averaging only 3.60 per bushel. Today, Dec 2020 corn is at 3.88. Delayed Weekly Export Sales will be out this morning.


Soybean futures were unchanged overnight with little fresh market-moving news to inspire the trade one way or the other, unless you count a bigger-than-expected 9 mil acre increase in 2020 bean acreage that came out of the USDA Outlook forum. The conference projects this year's planted acreage at 85.0 mil acres. Meanwhile, a lack of buying interest from China in the wake of the Phase One deal continues to be a source of pressure.


Wheat futures were down 1 to 2 cents overnight, pressured by strength in the dollar this week. The USDA's Outlook Forum's wheat acreage estimate of 45.0 mil acres coincides with the previous 44.9 mil acre projection for 2020. Technically, momentum studies are pointing higher for wheat from mid-range trading which would support a move higher if resistance areas are breached.


Cattle futures are called mixed. Yesterday's price drop erased a week's-worth of gains as concerns over the price of beef and demand from China amid the coronavirus crisis forces buyers to step back. We will get a Cattle-on-feed report this afternoon, and that is likely a source of position-squaring, too. Confidence in this week's $120/cwt cash cattle market is also waning.


Hog futures are called mixed and remain unpredictable as China takes measures to curb tariff constraints to allow for an increase in pork imports. The premium of futures to the cash market is a source of concern for the market and may lead to the futures market struggling to maintain any semblance of a rally The April contract's 10 and 20 day moving averages are pointing in opposite directions while serving as a source of price discovery for the nearby contract.

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