Ag markets moved generally higher Thursday night

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Corn futures dipped slightly Friday morning. The corn market seemingly stalled at three-month highs Thursday. Given the fact that the USDA is set to released its monthly WASDE report next Monday, if isn’t terribly surprising that prices dipped overnight. That may be the case throughout today’s session. March corn slipped 0.75 cent to $4.4225/bushel in early Friday trading, while May sagged 0.75 to $4.4775.

Rain in Brazil’s center-south region seemingly weighed on the soy complex. Sugar and coffee crops in Brazil’s center-south have recently suffered from dryness, but that region got rain last night. Conditions in Brazil’s grain/soy growing region have been favorable, but ideas that the dryness would spread to that area have supported the soy complex lately. March soybeans stalled at $13.2575/bushel Thursday night, while March soyoil skidded 0.01 cents to 38.65 cents/pound, and March soymeal rose $1.2 to $447.2/ton.

The wheat markets gained in Thursday night action. Weather concerns and renewed demand optimism boosted wheat prices earlier this week, but struggled Thursday. If not for industry concerns about a spring wheat shortage amidst a strike by Canadian rail workers, losses would have been unanimous. However, prices are inching back up again this morning. March CBOT wheat futures edged 2.0 cents higher to $5.8275/bushel in pre-dawn Friday action, while March KCBT wheat futures added 3.0 cents to $6.5175, and March MWE futures moved up 0.5 to $6.3875.

News of Nebraska cash weakness didn’t depress cattle futures. Recent CME cattle weakness has seemingly reflected bearish short-term expectations. That was confirmed overnight when news of light Nebraska trading in the $140-$141 area, down about $5 from last week only capped February futures and didn’t keep deferred futures from rising moderately. April cattle futures rallied 0.25 cents to 139.32 cents/pound as Friday dawned over Chicago, while August lifted 0.27 cents to 130.00. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle ran up 0.32 cents to 167.32 cents/pound, and May added 0.25 to 168.82.

Hog futures moved unevenly higher Thursday night. News that wholesale pork valued continued their recent decline seemed to limit bullish interest in nearby hog futures last night. However, late afternoon reports pointed to considerable firmness at the cash markets, which apparently offset the wholesale slippage. Talk of spreading PEDV disease could support deferred futures. April hogs edged up 0.12 cents to 94.32 cents/pound early Friday morning, while June increased 0.10 to 105.15.

Persistent equity strength seems to be boosting cotton futures. Cotton futures continued their recent pattern of moving in concert with the equity markets last night. Stocks don’t resume trading until midmorning, but stock index futures climbed overnight, which in turn seemed to support the cotton market. As in the grain/soy pits, Monday’s looming USDA reports may spur long liquidation today, thereby weighing on prices. March cotton advanced 0.34 cents to 86.65 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Friday, while July cotton gained 0.23 to 86.70.


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