Ag markets end the week mostly lower
Corn futures continued midweek gains Friday. After having rallied at midweek, corn futures apparently declined in response to negative Chinese news Thursday night. However, prices turned higher once again, which reportedly reflects industry concerns about flooded fields in the western Corn Belt. New crop prices led the advance. July corn closed up 2.75 cents to $4.5325/bushel Friday, while December climbed 4.5 to $4.52.
The soy complex diverged substantially Friday. Although the old-crop soybean situation remains very tight, traders are now much less worried about a potential summer shortage. Meanwhile, news of a sizeable new crop bean sale boosted deferred futures. Concerns about excessive western Corn Belt moisture may also have boosted new crop prices. Meal posted a big late-session surge, which in turn added to pressure on oil. July soybeans fell 5.0 cents to $14.1575/bushel in late Friday action, while July soyoil sagged 0.48 cents to 40.13 cents/pound, but July soymeal jumped $8.0 to $459.2/ton.
The wheat markets gave under Friday’s pressure. Wheat futures declined in concert with corn and beans last night, but, unlike the yellow grain market, proved unable to rebound Friday morning. The domestic situation still seems relatively tight, but traders worried about bearish global developments apparently increased their selling as the day passed. July CBOT wheat futures ended the week 8.25 cents lower at $5.8525/bushel, while July KCBT wheat lost 8.5 cents to $7.2075, and July MWE futures dove 12.5 to $6.905.
Cattle traders were likely evening up positions before the COF report. The cattle market has clearly performed well lately, with cash and wholesale strength pulling futures upward. However, traders were apparently liquidating longs ahead of this afternoon’s monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report. August cattle plunged 1.15 cents to 146.32 cents/pound at their Friday settlement, while December declined 0.27 to 150.50. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slumped 0.67 cents to 206.87 cents/pound and October dipped 0.35 to 208.32.
Hog futures closed mostly lower Friday. Recent cash and wholesale strength, as well over spillover cattle gains have boosted hog futures lately. However, today’s midsession reports indicate considerable late-week slippage in the country and in pork prices. Those are probably encouraging long-liquidation before the weekend. August hog futures sank 0.60 cents to 129.15, while December lost 0.45 cents to 96.55.