Ag markets mixed again Friday morning

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Corn stabilized around unchanged levels late Friday morning. U.S. dollar strength seemingly weighed upon the commodity sector in Friday morning action, with corn prices sustaining overnight losses. A respected industry analysis firm published a forecast for a huge US crop, but prices remained surprisingly stable. That confirms the bearish nature of current market sentiment. December corn futures bounced 1.0 cent to $4.2925/bushel late Friday morning, while May lost 0.25 cents to $4.4725.

The soy complex is caught between competing influences. This morning a respected ag industry firm also boosted its prediction for the soybean crop on next Friday’s USDA reports, but the news barely budged the market. Expectations for a huge U.S. soybean harvest are competing against the bullish influence of the Asian palm oil markets at this juncture. January soybean futures declined 7.25 cents to $12.59/bushel around midsession Friday, while December soyoil climbed 0.40 cents to 41.73 cents/pound, and December soymeal dropped $6.4 to $397.2/ton.

The wheat markets proved generally firm Friday morning. Although prices dipped Thursday night and might have been depressed further by U.S. dollar strength, wheat futures were trading in mixed fashion around midsession Friday. Bulls were also encouraged by a private industry report, which suggested Argentina’s forthcoming crop will fall short of expectations. December CBOT wheat futures gained 3.25 cents to $6.7075/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while December KCBT wheat futures slid 2.0 cents to $7.385, and December MWE futures added 0.5 to $7.3075.

Traders cited beef weakness for undercutting cattle futures Friday. Although many aspects of the cattle/beef situation seem price supportive, prices turned decidedly lower this morning. Bears were reportedly reacting to the latest wholesale report, which stated Thursday afternoon cutout values modestly below those posted Wednesday. The outcome of this week’s cash trading will probably set the tone for next week. December cattle slid 0.20 cents to 132.52 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while April edged 0.05 lower to 133.72. January feeder cattle rallied 0.47 cents to 164.15 cents/pound, but March feeders sank 0.22 to 164.27.

Hog futures also lost ground in early Friday trading. Talk of declining cash and wholesale prices apparently depressed CME hog values this morning. The slippage might have garnered less attention in other circumstances, but this is the time of year when the hog and pork complex often proves very weak. December hog futures fell 0.55 cents lower to 88.62 cents/pound late Friday morning, while April descended 0.40 cents to 92.97 cents/pound.

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