Ag markets ended the week in mixed fashion

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Corn futures were generally mixed Friday. The potential for favorable midsummer weather is still weighing upon corn prices, since the benign conditions could contribute to a record harvest. However, traders seemed to be reducing short positions before the weekend, since changing forecasts might send prices higher early next week. September corn futures rallied 3.0 cents to $5.44/bushel at their Friday close, while December ended the week unchanged at $5.0075.

The tight old crop situation continues supporting the soybean market. Soybeans are also feeling downward pressure from favorable summer weather, especially with corn leading the way lower lately. However, the current old-crop shortage apparently supported nearby futures Friday, which in turned seemed to spill over into the deferred contracts. August soybean futures leapt 21.5 cents to $14.9075/bushel late Friday afternoon, while August soyoil slipped 0.02 cents to 45.50 cents/pound, and August soymeal jumped $12.0 to $482.4/ton.

Renewed export hopes boosted wheat futures Friday. An early morning USDA report indicated that a private seller had sold 120,000 tonnes of soft red winter wheat to China, thereby reminding traders that the Asian giant may need a great deal more grain later this year. Winter wheat futures rallied in response. However, the prospect of favorable summer weather and a big spring wheat crop undercut the Minneapolis market. September CBOT wheat settled 4.0 cents higher at $6.645/bushel Friday, while September KCBT wheat gained 3.0 cents to $7.0525 and September MGE futures inched 0.25 cent higher to $7.505.

Cattle futures declined modestly Friday. Flat country prices around $119/cwt in the Southern Plains seemingly undercut the market, since bulls have been hoping for a significant rebound from seasonal lows. Traders may also have been unwilling to take a stand ahead of the afternoon release of the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report. The results largely matched expectations, so futures may react little next Monday. August cattle dipped 0.12 cents to 121.97 cents/pound as trading wound down for the week, while December skidded 0.15 cents to 128.72. August feeder futures rallied 0.17 cents to 152.25 cents/pound, while November moved up 0.15 cents to 158.15.

CME hog prices declined in concert with cattle Friday. Bullish hog traders have very likely been hoping resurgent cattle and beef prices would support the hog and pork complex during the coming weeks and months. Thus, the cash cattle weakness, along with slippage in Corn Belt swine values, apparently caused the weakness experienced by hog futures Friday. August hog futures settled 0.15 cents lower at 96.47 cents/pound Friday, while December sank 0.32 cents to 82.22.

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