Ag market posted impressive gains Friday

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Corn futures appeared to benefit from the situation that farmers probably prefer not to seed the corn during this weekend based on the current weather forecasts. Significant rain will fall on the western Corn Belt Saturday night into Monday and across eastern Corn Belt Sunday into Tuesday. Corn market found additional support through strong export demand. Weekly export shipments were huge. May corn climbed 5.75 cents to $5.07/bushel, while December rallied 3.50 cents to $5.0625.

Soybean market rallied from week’s selloff and posted impressive gains Friday. Higher values of soymeal boosted the bean prices. Talk of China that had not cancelled some of Brazilian bean purchases seemingly triggered bulls. Old crop futures gathered power from the tightness of stocks. New crop futures had moderate gains as traders worried that more bean acreage could happen given corn planting will delay. May soybeans rocketed 26.00 cents to settle at $14.98/bushel, while May soyoil edged 0.33 cents higher to 42.92 cents/pound, and May soymeal rose $10.40 to $490.60/ton.

Several reasons boosted wheat markets. Although the export shipments in Black Sea Region continued to perform normally in the past several weeks, the escalation of the conflicts in east Ukraine increased traders’ concerns about the export disruption, which driving up the wheat prices. Persistent dry conditions in the US Plains probably sparked additional buying. The International Grains Council trimmed 3 mmt 2014/15 global wheat production forecast to 679 mmt. Chicago wheat extended gains on a fourth day, trading at a one-week high. May CBOT wheat futures advanced 11.25 cents to $7.0025/bushel, while May KCBT wheat futures gained 16.25 cents to $7.7575, and May MWE futures ran up 11.25 to $7.475.

Cattle futures closed higher after a lower start. June futures rebounded to a three week high. Rising beef prices helped cattle futures edge higher this week. However, early reports on Friday indicated cash traded $1 lower in Texas at $146. The Cattle on Feed report released after the close is viewed as supportive to prices with lower than and expected placements pulling COF as of April 1 down nearly 1% from a year ago. June cattle futures were 0.92 cents higher at 136.77 cents/pound, while December were 0.82 cents higher to 141.77. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle were 0.40 cents higher to 180.00 cents/pound, and August was up 0.57 cents to 184.05.

Hogs futures proved vulnerable mostly to fresh selling led by the nearby May contract Friday. Lower cash prices and wholesales pork prices undercut the future market. Weekly slaughter number came in stronger than a week ago. June hog futures are 0.875 cents lower to 124.675 cents/pound while December is 0.075 higher to 91.200.

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