Over the weekend, traders were still digesting the Federal Reserve’s comments and just how soon interest rates may be raised—most likely September. In response to the minutes from the policy-making meeting, the U.S. dollar fell the most in several years. That’s good news for U.S. exporters--if it doesn’t reverse course to the upside again. More on the dollar here and here.
Likewise, markets early in the week will reflect reaction to Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, which indicated the fourth straight month of placements lower than a year earlier, at less than 92% of last February. Inventory on feed as of March 1 was down half a percentage point from last year, close to the average trade guess. Over the weekend, the bias was on the plus side. Click here for more on Cattle on Feed.
Monday afternoon brings USDA’s Cold Storage report. It will help gauge whether meat inventories built as much in February as many expect, both because of rapidly climbing pork production--up more than 4% over last year at this time--and exports being slammed by the strong dollar.
Even more closely watched will be Friday afternoon’s quarterly Hogs & Pigs report. If it confirms prospects for more growth in production, further market weakness may result. Weekend trade in lean hog futures had losses of about 40-70 cents for the remainder of 2015.
Keep in mind March feeder cattle futures and options expire Thursday and April grain options expire Friday.
In outside markets, several reports on the general economy will be issued early in the week but the most closely watched will be the GDP figures coming out Friday morning.
The regular weekly reports on export inspections (Monday), ethanol production and stocks (Wednesday) and export sales (Thursday) will draw their usual attention.