Ag markets ended the week in decidedly mixed fashion

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Short covering seemed to boost corn at Friday’s close. This week’s rain will very likely get recently planted corn off to a good start. Next week’s forecast sunshine will probably help as well, along with accelerating plantings in northern states. Recent technical action also favored bears. However, short covering before the weekend boosted most contracts at Friday’s close. July corn slipped 0.75 cent to $4.835/bushel Friday afternoon, while December rose 0.5 cent to $4.81.

Trade news favored new crop soy futures Friday. Deferred CBOT soy futures outperformed their old-crop counterparts Thursday night and continued doing so Friday morning. News that an unknown buyer had purchased 180,000 tonnes of beans for 2014/15 delivery apparently supporting new-crop prices, whereas oil was surprisingly weak after the announced sale of 40,000 tonnes for 2013/14 delivery to China. Nearby futures also seemed to be suffering a hangover from Thursday’s bearish NOPA crush report. July soybeans slid 5.25 cents to $14.65/bushel at their week-ending close, while July soyoil sank 0.29 cents to 40.75 cents/pound, and July soymeal slipped $1.2 to $480.2/ton.

Weather apparently exerting fresh pressure on the wheat markets Friday. News out of Ukraine seemingly confirmed worries about crop plantings there, but it did little to support wheat prices. Conversely, forecasts for weather very favorable for the domestic crop appeared to trigger fresh selling Friday morning. July CBOT wheat futures dropped 4.0 cents to $6.7425/bushel at their Friday settlement, while July KCBT wheat futures fell 11.0 cents to $7.6775, and July MWE futures plunged 15.75 to $7.3925.

Cattle traders may have been balancing positions ahead of the COF report. Cattle futures rose Friday despite Thursday’s $2-$3/cwt cash decline. Bulls probably pointed to concurrent wholesale firmness and discounts already built into CME futures, but traders may have simply been evening-up positions ahead of the afternoon’s monthly Cattle on Feed report. The late report was construed as neutral for next week’s opening. June cattle advanced 0.50 cents to 137.90 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December rose 0.55 to 144.77. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle ran up 0.90 cents to 193.32 cents/pound, and October surged 1.05 cents to

Pork slippage probably weighed on the nearby hog contracts. CME bulls are still anticipating a sizeable seasonal advance during late spring and summer, since June-August futures are trading at major premiums to spot values. However, the cash and wholesale markets struggled in late week action, with Friday’s early pork weakness apparently weighing on nearby futures. June hogs settled 0.50 cents lower at 118.92 cents/pound Friday, and December skidded 0.10 cents to 93.77.

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