Ag futures ended the week in decidedly mixed fashion

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Corn futures posted a late bounce Friday afternoon. Large fall harvest prospects have recently exerted great pressure on the corn market, but concurrent slippage in the soy complex added weight this morning. A late statement from the U.S. Grains Council argued that China’s forthcoming rule on DDG imports is unworkable, which didn’t help the bullish cause. However, prices rebounded somewhat at the close, thereby seeming to reflect wheat strength, bottom picking and short-covering before the weekend. September corn settled up 1.5 cents to $3.63/bushel in late Friday trading, while December rose 2.25 cents to $3.7175.

The soy complex turned mixed in late-week action. Strong export results and growing talk of August Corn Belt dryness boosted the soy complex at midweek. Thursday’s late technical setback persisted overnight, but the market stabilized as Friday passed. Traders may have reduced their exposure on both sides of the market, since weekend weather forecasts might spur a big move in either direction. August soybean futures gained 4.75 cents to $12.1225/bushel at Friday’s close, while November futures slid 1.25 cents to $10.835. August soyoil declined 0.15 cents to 36.09 cents/pound and August soymeal added $2.7 to $398.0/ton.

Bargain hunters reportedly boosted the wheat markets before the weekend. Wheat futures suffered a dearth of late-week news, which may be one reason they rose Friday. Active bargain hunting and short-covering apparently entered the markets, which made considerable sense when considered the size of the May-July breakdown and the huge short exposure of the trading funds. September CBOT wheat rallied 9.25 cents to $5.38/bushel at their Friday close, while September KC wheat surged 10.75 cents to $6.3125/bushel, and September MWE wheat moved up 8.0 cents to $6.2775.

Continued cash and wholesale gains encouraged cattle bulls Friday. The CME cattle market seemed in danger of stalling after cash prices surged to fresh records Wednesday. However, spot quotes jumped to new highs Friday morning and beef quotes seconded the move at noon; those boosted Chicago quotes. Spiking country values suggest a blow-off top is looming. August live cattle soared 2.55 cents to 159.10 cents/pound as Friday’s CME session ended, while December ran up 1.00 cent to 158.77. Meanwhile, August feeder futures jumped 0.92 cents to 218.25 cents/pound, and October feeders leapt 1.22 to 218.85.

Hog futures proved surprisingly mixed in late-Friday trading. Cash hog and pork values suffered seasonal losses earlier this week, but bounced around midsession Friday. The late strength, along with surging cattle and beef, likely supported nearby August futures, whereas bearish expectations continued weighing on late-2014 futures. August hog futures closed 0.42 cents higher at 123.62 Friday, while December fell 0.47 cents to 98.15.

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