Ag markets ended the week in decidedly mixed fashion

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Improved planting prospects depressed corn futures Friday. The grain and soy markets bounced Thursday night, but corn turned lower in Friday action. Talk of improved planting weather apparently triggered fresh selling, since farmers could get a great deal of grain planted during the prospective window expected next week. July corn tumbled 7.5 cents to $4.995/bushel at its Friday settlement, while December lost 5.5 cents to $4.94.

The soy complex ended the week in decidedly mixed fashion. The potential for accelerated plantings also seemed to weigh upon new-crop soybean and meal futures Friday. Conversely, the persistent tightness of the old-crop situation supported nearby futures. Oil values rebounded somewhat from Thursday’s big losses. July soybeans rallied 9.75 cents to $14.7075/bushel as pit trading ended Friday, while July soyoil rose 0.35 cents to 41.51 cents/pound, and July soymeal gained $3.7 to $480.4/ton.

Weather and war possibilities apparently boosted the wheat markets. Wheat futures also bounced Thursday night, but they continued rising Friday. The final reports from the Wheat Quality Council tour posted yesterday afternoon probably spurred buying, especially since that region expects no short-term moisture relief. The Black Sea situation also seems to be heating up, thereby spurring spring wheat gains. July CBOT wheat futures advanced 8.75 cents to $7.16/bushel Friday afternoon, while July KCBT wheat futures leapt 17.75 cents to $8.2175, and July MWE futures jumped 13.75 to $7.75.

News of flat southern Plains prices undercut cattle futures Friday. Light Nebraska trading at higher prices sparked Thursday’s big CME cattle surge. However, more active trading at flat prices in Kansas and Panhandle regions apparently discouraged traders today, with the Chicago market giving back a substantial portion of the previous rise. June cattle fell 1.20 cents to 138.05 cents/pound as the week’s trading ended Friday, while December slid 0.17 cents at 144.17. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle slipped 0.15 cents to 190.32 cents/pound, but October gained 0.35 cents to 191.32.

Anticipation of seasonal strength may have limited Friday’s hog losses. Pork weakness tended to undercut CME hogs this week, although moderate cash slippage may have limited the damage. Nearby futures bounced from early lows, but proved unable to sustain those gains into the weekend. June hog futures closed 0.57 cents lower at 122.22 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December advanced 1.07 to 94.47.

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