Ag markets moved mostly higher Friday morning

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Short covering seems to be supporting the crop markets before the weekend. After having tumbled to three-month lows after Wednesday’s WASDE report, corn futures firmed Thursday. Priced are following through upon those gains this morning, as traders seem to be covering shorts and/or bottom picking. July corn rallied 4.25 cents to $4.4825/bushel late Friday morning, while December gained 5.0 cents to $4.4875.

The soy complex is also rebounding Friday morning. As with the grain markets, little fundamental bean news has emerged, so traders are apparently taking profits on recently established short positions before the weekend. They probably don’t want to risk being exposed through next Monday’s NOPA crush report either. Asian palm gains boosted oil in early trading, then technical buyers took over; meal is on the wrong side of crush spreads at the moment. July soybeans bounced 9.0 cents to $14.2425/bushel as lunchtime loomed Friday, while July soyoil jumped 0.86 cents to 39.44 cents/pound, but July soymeal slid $0.6 to $468.6/ton.

The wheat markets are moving upward as well. Big wheat importer Egypt announced purchases of Romanian and Russian wheat this morning, which suggests U.S. wheat remains uncompetitive on the global market. Still, domestic futures built upon Thursday’s late firmness, thereby very likely reflecting widespread short-covering before the weekend. July CBOT wheat futures advanced 5.0 cents to $5.9025/bushel around midsession Friday, while July KCBT wheat surged 12.0 cents to $7.175 and July MWE futures added 7.0 to $6.890.

Cattle futures are building upon Thursday’s big advance. News of a surprising increase in cash cattle prices triggered a major rise in CME cattle futures yesterday. Although short-term beef prospects look rather weak, futures resumed their surge Friday morning. August cattle leapt 1.20 cents to 146.25 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, while December vaulted 0.90 cents to 151.55. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle advanced 0.75 cents to 206.60 and October lifted 0.62 to 207.30.

Cash and wholesale gains are boosting hog futures. The CME swine market followed cattle higher Thursday, with reports of country and pork gains also encouraging bulls. Thursday’s late-afternoon reports confirmed that strength, which spurred continued buying overnight and again today. August hog futures soared 1.57 cents 132.37 as lunchtime loomed Friday, while December ran up 0.95 cents to 99.60.

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