Ag markets mixed after employment report Friday

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Corn futures posted gains again Friday, with multiple factors influencing prices. Old crop tightness is probably continuing support for nearby futures, whereas weather concerns are reportedly boosting new crop values. The strong result on the monthly U.S. Employment report sent equity indexes and the dollar higher, which may have exerted opposing forces upon commodity values. July corn rose 3.0 cents to $6.6625/bushel Friday, while December advanced 10.25 cents to $5.585.

Soybean futures were mixed Friday. After having surged overnight, old crop July prices set back significantly. Improved producer selling may have undercut the market, along with a statement from the Tyson CEO, who indicated they may import corn this summer. Meanwhile, concerns about the negative impact of forthcoming weather apparently boosted new crop futures. July soybean futures closed just 1.0 cent to $15.2825/bushel Friday afternoon, while July soyoil climbed 0.37 cents to 48.53 cents/pound, but July soybean meal slipped $1.5 to $452.5/ton.

Wheat futures traded in narrowly mixed fashion Friday, with the winter wheat markets generally lower and spring wheat values mostly higher. Equity market gains may have been offering support, whereas U.S. dollar strength exerted pressure in the wake of the monthly U.S. Employment report. Weather news was apparently affecting prices, since the Winter Wheat Belt remains dry and Northern Plains are too wet. July CBOT wheat futures edged 0.75 cents lower to $6.9625/bushel at their Friday close, and July KCBT wheat lost 3.5 cents to $7.35, while July MGE futures slipped 0.5 cents to $8.1975.

Cattle traders previously seemed cautiously optimistic about the likely outcome of cash trading this week, but apparently adjusted those downward Friday. Talk of limited packing industry interest and sliding choice grade cutout reportedly undercut cattle futures as the day passed. There was no cash news before CME trading ended for the week. June cattle dropped 0.32 cents to 120.12 cents/pound at the Friday close, while December declined 0.27 to 125.02. Meanwhile, August feeder futures dove 1.02 cents to 143.62 cents/pound, and November plunged 0.97 cents to 149.40.

Hog traders apparently remained quite confident about short-term price prospects, as indicated by fresh CME gains Friday. Another rise in the CME lean hog index (which futures cash-settle against) and optimism about seasonal strength through mid-June rather clearly supported Chicago prices once again. June hog futures jumped 0.82 cents to 98.12 cents/pound to end the week, while December gained 0.67 cents to 81.67.


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