Ag markets generally firmed Friday morning

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Big soy losses seem to be weighing on corn futures. The soy complex dipped Thursday night, then declined farther this morning as traders tried continued reacting to news of big Chinese soy shipment cancellations. The prospect of persistently chilly, damp weather over the Corn Belt and delays to spring plantings seems to be providing support. May corn slipped 1.5 cents to $4.9975/bushel Friday morning, while December dipped 4.0 to $5.01.

Talk of Chinese cancellations sent soy values lower Friday morning. The markets were hit Thursday by news that Chinese buyers had recently cancelled 500,000 tonnes of U.S. and Brazilian purchases. The implied reduction in Chinese demand rather clearly depressed bean and product prices again this morning, despite early news of a big new-crop sale. May soybeans dove 18.0 cents to $14.6425/bushel in early Friday trading, while May soyoil fell 0.34 cents to 42.16 cents/pound, and May soymeal sank $6.2 to 473.3/ton.

Weather forecasts may be affecting the wheat markets. Although no one is calling for substantial rains over the southern Plains, a modest improvement in the moisture outlook seemed to weigh on the winter wheat markets early this morning, but prices subsequently firmed. Conversely, Minneapolis prices rose modestly, thereby seeming to reflect concerns about spring planting delays. May CBOT wheat futures moved up 3.0 cents to $6.6525/bushel around midsession Friday, while May KCBT wheat futures gained 2.0 cents to $7.245, while May MWE futures added 2.25 cents to $7.0325.

Talk of steady cash quotes boosted cattle futures Friday. Ongoing wholesale losses have seemingly presaged a drop in cash cattle prices this week, thereby depressing CME futures. However, Chicago prices have turned higher in response to growing talk that cash prices will remain steady this week. June cattle futures climbed 0.82 cents to 136.02 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, while December lifted 0.02 to 140.42. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle skidded 0.20 cents to 179.47 cents/pound, and August lost 0.20 to 181.72.

Wholesale strength is seemingly supporting hog futures. Cash hog and pork quotes fell sharply Thursday afternoon, which weighed heavily upon CME futures in early CME trading. And yet, the midday pork quote indicated a modest morning rise, which, along with reports of modest cash slippage, probably encouraged buying in Chicago. June hog futures had declined just 0.30 cents to 120.85 cents/pound at lunchtime Friday, dawned over Chicago, while December sank 0.30 to 88.35.

Cotton futures may be feeling equity market weakness. The cotton market proved surprising firm Thursday night despite the bearish export sales report and negative technical developments. However, the slide resumed this morning, which may have reflected weakness spilling over from the equity markets. That may indicate poor apparel demand later this year. May cotton slumped 0.05 cents to 88.97 cents/pound just before noon (EDT) Friday, while December cotton edged up 0.19 to 81.03.

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