Ag markets ended the week in decidedly mixed fashion

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Slumping old crop prices undercut corn futures again Friday. The latest weather forecasts remain quite favorable, and continue weighing upon new crop prices as a consequence. However, the growing belief that elevators and users can now bridge the gap to the new crop harvest is depressing country corn and bean prices, which are weighing upon the front end of the futures markets. September corn futures closed 4.0 cents lower at $4.92/bushel Friday, while December dipped 2.75 cents to $4.76.

The soy complex was mixed to lower at Friday’s close. More-liquid cash conditions continued undercutting nearby soybean and meal futures Friday, whereas the oil market remained under pressure. However, new crop beans and meal bounced. We suspect traders are thinking meal demand will remain strong into autumn and winter, but they are rather obviously less optimistic about the soyoil outlook. Short-covering probably supported beans and meal as well. August soybean futures fell 5.5 cents to $13.4975/bushel in late Friday trading, while August soyoil sagged 0.23 cents to 43.58 cents/pound, but August soymeal plunged $17.5 to $430.3/ton. November beans surged 8.5 cent to $12.755.

Wheat futures gave back early gains during Friday’s pit session. The wheat markets proved quite firm again Thursday night, but prices declined in concert with the corn and bean markets as Friday morning passed. The bearish result of the Wheat Quality Council tour and favorable weather forecasts for the spring wheat region may have undercut prices. September CBOT wheat gained 1.0 cent to $6.5075/bushel at its Friday settlement, while September KCBT wheat slid 0.75 cent to $6.915 and September MGE futures skidded 1.25 cents to $7.365.

Cash market strength boosted cattle futures Friday. CME cattle traders had been anticipating a seasonal cash market advance to begin since late June, and were consistently disappointed. However, wire service reports posted Friday morning indicated that packers had boosted their bids in early trading. That news quickly translated into Chicago gains. August cattle advanced 0.15 cents to 121.80 cents/pound as trading wound down Friday, while December climbed 0.33 cents to 128.65. August feeder futures surged 0.25 cents to 152.60 cents/pound, while November lifted 0.52 cents to 158.92.

Hog futures posted surprising losses to end the week. Despite late-Thursday reports of considerable cash hog and wholesale pork strength, as well as the gains being posted in the cattle pit next door, hog futures turned decidedly lower Friday morning. The dwindling difference between the nearby August futures price and the CME index may have rendered the nearby future vulnerable to selling. Talk of morning cash and wholesale weakness probably added to the pressure. August hog futures settled down 0.80 cents at 97.77 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December dove 0.75 cents to 81.85.

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