Ag markets ended the week in mixed fashion

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Corn futures remained under pressure Friday. Prospects for a huge fall crop rather obviously weighed upon corn prices again today, especially with Corn Belt rainfall now forecast for the next two weeks. The fact that nearby futures failed at their 10-day moving averages this week probably exaggerated CBOT selling. September corn settled 4.5 cents lower at $3.525/bushel Friday, while December lost 4.75 cents to $3.6225.

Improved moisture projections apparently weighed on the soy complex. Soybean and product futures bounced in late July as the Corn Belt dried out, since arid August conditions can significantly reduce the fall bean harvest. However, the return of rain to short-term forecasts alleviated those concerns, while traders cited slippage in basis quotes. That triggered renewed CBOT selling as well. September soybean futures fell 26.25 cents to $10.735/bushel as Friday’s pit session ended, while November futures tumbled 23.5 cents to $10.585. September soyoil slumped 0.62 cents to 35.54 cents/pound and September soymeal dipped $6.2 to $355.8/ton.

The wheat markets proved surprisingly firm Friday. Current weather forecasts, as well as the latest financial market developments (falling stocks and rising dollar) didn’t favor grain strength, but wheat futures ended the week on a decidedly firm note. That seemingly reflected potential production problems in a few other countries, as well as talk of improved demand for U.S. wheat. September CBOT wheat rallied 4.0 cents to $5.3425/bushel at their Friday settlement, and September KC wheat surged 7.0 cents to $6.3275/bushel, while September MWE wheat ended the day unchanged at $6.16.

Cattle futures bounced from midmorning lows. As seemed likely after Thursday’s CME breakdown, country cattle producers began taking packer bids near the lower end of last week’s price range this morning. Futures fell sharply in response, but bounced from the lows since the cash losses weren’t all that large. October live cattle dove 1.32 cents to 156.00 cents/pound in late Friday action, while December dove plunged 1.67 cents to 156.42. Meanwhile, September feeder futures plummeted 1.30 cents to 219.90 cents/pound, and November feeders crashed 1.77 cents to 218.20.

Hog futures ended the week in mixed fashion. Hog futures have recently suffered badly from bearish seasonal expectations, today’s midsession cash and wholesale quotes seemed particularly negative and concurrent cattle losses seemingly spilled over into the hog pit as well. However, futures firmed later in the day, with only the most-active October contract ending the day lower. October hog futures closed down 0.35 cents to 102.82 cents/pound, while December added 0.22 cents to 94.40.

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