Ag markets ended the week strongly

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Corn futures sustained early gains Friday. The Friday morning Export Sales report probably disappointed traders, but corn futures remained slightly higher through midmorning. And despite a negative reaction when a respected industry analysis firm published its crop production estimates later in the morning, yellow grain prices ended the day at slightly higher levels. Wire service reports cited short-covering for the rise. December corn advanced 7.25 cents to $4.6825/bushel at Friday’s close, while May added 7.0 cents to $4.895.

The soy complex was mixed throughout Friday’s session. The weekly USDA Export Sales report seemingly held mixed implications for the short-term soybean and product outlook, so it seemed to affect prices little. Conversely, the midmorning publication of a private estimate for the forthcoming soybean crop apparently weighed upon bean and meal futures. The oil market seemingly benefitted from overnight firmness in the Asian markets. Cash firmness seemed to boost nearby futures Friday afternoon. November soybeans closed up 0.25 cent at $13.6775/bushel Friday, while October soyoil climbed 0.17 cents to 43.43 cents/pound, whereas October soymeal slipped $0.1 to $434.7/ton.

Wheat futures proved surprisingly strong Friday. Overnight news seemed supportive of the wheat market, particularly with Egypt buying some U.S. grain after having relied upon Eastern European origins in recent weeks. The Export Sales data also appeared to boost golden grain values. December CBOT wheat gained 7.5 cents to $6.4775/bushel in late Friday trading, while December KCBT wheat rose 6.25 cents to $6.955 and December MGE futures edged up 1.5 cents to $7.1275.

Cattle futures turned mixed Friday. Beef prices dipped Thursday and Friday, thereby seeming to prompt country cattle trading at steady-lower prices. The fact that Southern Plains cattle traded at unchanged levels actually appeared to boost the October future in afternoon trading. October cattle futures settled 0.45 cents to 125.67 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December slumped 0.10 cents to 129.02. October feeder cattle fell 0.77 cents to 158.02 cents/pound, and January lost 0.27 cents to 158.00.

Hog futures resumed their recent rally Friday. Although the cash and wholesale markets turned sharply lower Thursday, talk that this week’s slaughter will fall well below the year-ago result apparently sparked the resurgence. The afternoon USDA report stated the weekly kill 4.75 under the year-ago figure, thereby confirming bullish expectations. October hog futures jumped 1.50 cents to 90.90 cents/pound at Friday’s settlement, while December surged 1.07 cent to 87.00.

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