FSA DEADLINE FOR ARC AND PLC ENROLLMENT IS MARCH 15
Producers who have not yet enrolled in ARC or PLC for 2019 need to make an appointment to begin the enrollment process as soon as possible. Farmers can also enroll for 2020 during the same visit. The 2018 farm bill provides a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields, which could prove beneficial to producers.
Live cattle futures continue to chop along mostly sideways. Initially the market dipped lower in reaction to the U.S.- China trade deal amid profit taking, but the market has mostly recovered. February live cattle continue to have resistance just below $128 and support between $124 and $125. Industry estimates ahead of Friday’s cattle on feed report have the January 1 feedlot inventory pegged at 102.2% of the year ago total. December placements are estimated to be 103.2% of a year earlier. March feeders have retreated from resistance at the recent high of $147.70, but still have support between $141 and $140.
The hog market continues to be burdened with large market-ready hog supplies. The market was also disappointed in the initial U.S.-China trade deal, which did not eliminate tariffs, but rather resulted in a promise from China that they will waive tariffs to meet import goals. New demand from China could help relieve pressure on the market but aren’t expected until the end of Lunar New Year celebrations. February is currently testing resistance at $68.
The uptrend in rice futures continues unabated, with nearby March trading at the highest level of a rice lead contract in 6 years. The smaller U.S. crop and tightening supply is certainly providing support. Strong Asian prices are also supportive as demand from Africa has improved. Weekly U.S. export reports haven’t been especially inspiring as the recent rally may be having an impact on demand. March doesn’t have much technical resistance until we reach the $14 level.
Soybean futures remain under pressure for the time being. Strong early yields in Brazil and favorable weather in Argentina are weighing on prices. There are also growing concerns that China will not be back in the market for U.S. soybeans for delivery in 19-20. March could head toward a retest of support in the $9 area.
March cotton has made some wild swings this week, with wide intra-day trading ranges. So far, the market has bounced off support in the 69 cent area. It is possible that the market is trying to confirm at top at the recent high of 71.96 cents. The U.S.-China trade deal should provide support for cotton, but there were no specifics about cotton in the agreement, so the proof will be in the purchases, if and when they materialize.