Ag markets move generally lower Friday morning

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The grain and soy complexes traded according to old and new crop conditions again Friday morning. Corn futures exemplified that phenomenon, with the nearby July future rising on old-crop supply tightness, whereas forecasts for improving conditions depressed new crop values. July corn futures rose 4.0 cents to $6.475/bushel Friday morning, while December fell 3.5 cents to $5.3175.

Soybean futures acted similarly to their corn counterparts Friday morning, with old crop prices firming and the deferreds sliding. Talk of supply tightness in the western Corn Belt probably supported the July contract, although the substantial gains posted by soyoil values probably provided spillover support. That likely reflected surging energy prices. Meal values very likely suffered from being on the wrong side of the crush spread. July soybean futures edged 0.75 cent lower to $15.095/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil climbed 0.37 cents to 48.22 cents/pound, and July soybean meal slipped $1.1 to $451.5/ton.

Improved new crop prospects apparently depressed wheat futures as well on Friday. Readers should recall that the wheat market has fully entered the new crop year, especially with winter wheat harvesting already having begun in parts of Texas. Thus, prices at the three U.S. wheat exchanges moved unanimously lower this morning. July CBOT wheat futures declined 8.5 cents to $6.77/bushel just before lunchtime, while July KCBT wheat slid 9.5 cents to $7.09, and July MGE futures skidded 4.75 cents to $8.0725.

Seasonal pressure continued weighing upon the cattle and beef complex this week. Indeed, Thursday night losses kept the wholesale market sliding, which in turn reinforced ideas that the late-spring cash decline will persist into early summer. Futures seem likely to struggle until traders see signs of cash strength. August cattle slumped 0.55 cents to 118.52 cents/pound around midsession Friday, while December lost 0.55 cents to 124.87. August feeder cattle futures tumbled 0.82 cents to 144.65 cents/pound, and November sagged 0.87 cents to 150.35.

The expiring June hog contract looks set to expire on a very strong note at noon today. However, the persistent weakness suffered by the cattle and beef complex, as well as the history tendency for hog and pork prices to hit an annual peak in mid-to-late June apparently weighed upon the deferred contracts Friday. July hog futures declined 0.87 cents to 97.77 cents/pound in late Friday morning trading, while December tumbled 0.37 cents to 81.32.

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