Ag markets closed mostly higher again Friday

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Corn traders seemed to focus on supportive factors Friday. The private crop tour of the Midwest yielded huge corn production forecasts this week, but CBOT prices finished the week strongly. That probably reflected news that drought in northeastern China could chop 3.5 million tonnes from that nation’s harvest. September corn closed up 3.25 cents at $3.655/bushel Friday, while December added 2.5 to $3.715.

Talk of demand strength again boosted beans and meal. This week’s crop tour also pointed to a huge fall soybean harvest, thereby keeping persistent pressure upon new crop futures. However, talk of demand strength sent nearby bean and meal futures soaring later in the week; news of a sizeable sale to China epitomized the vigorous demand. Oil is still suffering from the global vegoil glut. September soybean futures jumped 29.75 cents to $11.66/bushel at their Friday settlement, while November futures rose 3.75 cents to $10.42. September soyoil sank 0.42 cents to 32.36 cents/pound, and September soymeal leapt $19.5 to $433.5/ton.

Reduced Canadian production and Black Sea worries supporting wheat prices. The global wheat situation still looks well supplied, but Thursday’s modest reduction in Canadian production forecasts alleviated the pressure and boosted MWE prices. Futures traded firmly through much of Friday, but the Chicago suffered a surprising drop at the close. Traders remain concerned about a potential conflict between Russia and Ukraine. September CBOT wheat settled 5.75 cents higher at $5.52/bushel Friday afternoon, while September KC wheat advanced 11.5 cents to $6.335/bushel, and September MWE wheat surged 11.00 to $6.2675.

Cattle futures posted a big late-week surge. Another bout of cash and wholesale weakness sent cattle futures to fresh short-term lows at midweek, but the market closed very strongly Friday. That may simply have reflected widespread short-covering and/or industry anticipation of a seasonal bounce during the coming weeks. October live cattle futures soared 1.45 cents to 147.00 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December futures vaulted 1.25 to 149.85. Meanwhile, September feeder futures ran up 1.47 cents to 210.90 and November futures climbed 0.42 to 207.77.

Hog futures ended the week widely mixed. CME hog futures posted a big rebound Thursday, which bulls hoped would mark the start of a sizeable late-summer advance. And while midday pork quotes rose, nearby CME futures reversed to the downside after failing to top their 10-day moving averages. Deferred futures posted vigorous gains. October hogs ended Friday having fallen 0.75 cents to 92.87 cents/pound, while December dipped 0.40 to 87.15.

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