Ag markets decidedly mixed on Friday morning

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The equity and U.S. dollar markets proved quite strong again Friday, but commodity traders seemed to pay more attention to the negative demand aspects of the greenback rally than to the economic strength implied by stock gains. As for corn, persistent old crop tightness continues supporting nearby futures, while optimism about plantings this week weighed upon deferreds. July corn surged 10.75 cents to $6.5225/bushel late Friday morning, while December slipped 3.5 cents to $5.2075.

Continuing tightness of old crop supplies supported nearby soybean futures again Friday morning despite the negative export demand implications of the rallying U.S. The greenback rally may also increase the chance of soybean imports during the days and weeks ahead. Conversely, the prospect of rainy Corn Belt weather over the weekend seemed to be weighing upon deferred futures. July soybean futures gained 7.5 cents to $14.35/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil sank 0.13 cents to 49.39 cents/pound, and July soybean meal gained $3.7 to $418.6/ton.

Wheat futures seemed to suffer Friday morning from the ongoing dollar rally and its potential for curtailing export demand. Other developments may simply have reflected the impact of wet weekend forecasts for the central U.S. That is, increased moisture in the west could improve the winter wheat harvest, thereby weighing upon Chicago and Kansas City prices. On the other hand, wet fields in the Northern Plains could slow spring wheat plantings and reduce production prospects for that region. July CBOT wheat futures dipped 5.75 cents to $6.82/bushel in Friday morning trading, and July KCBT wheat dove 7.25 to $7.3625, while July MGE futures slid 0.75 cents to $8.0325.

Weak cash prices Thursday set the stage for similar slippage at country markets and those in Chicago today. CME traders apparently remain unimpressed with record high beef prices and may be expecting diminished consumer demand as summer arrives. News that the Canadian Ag Minister is proposing retaliation on U.S. products in the COOL controversy weighed upon prices later in the morning. June cattle edged 0.17 cents lower to 119.72 cents/pound just before lunchtime Friday, while December slid 0.25 to 124.02. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures lost 0.75 cents to 144.37 cents/pound, while November sank 0.52 cents to 149.87.

Strong wholesale gains and persistent gains by the CME lean hog index boosted CME hog futures Thursday and again early Friday morning. However, the news that Canadian officials may soon institute retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products in the COOL dispute seemed to undercut CME futures just around midsession. June hog futures fell 0.35 cents to 92.52 cents/pound late Friday morning, while December futures declined 0.22 cents to 77.12.

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