The USDA reports were mixed to supportive, with corn futures bouncing from early lows. The USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports implied the U.S. corn situation is somewhat tighter than previously thought, with the forecast carryout falling moderately below expectations. That sparked a post-report rally. December corn futures climbed 6.25 cents to $4.2675/bushel at Friday’s close, while May added 7.0 cents to $4.47.
Bean and meal futures surged in response to the USDA data. Today’s numbers sparked soybean and meal gains, due in part to carryout totals well below predictions from respected firms. Global carryout also fell below expectations. Oil futures continued suffering from Thursday’s FDA announcement concerning trans fat regulation. January soybean futures soared 29.5 cents to $12.96/bushel in week-ending action, while December soyoil dove 0.50 cents to 40.24 cents/pound, and December soymeal leapt $18.5 to $422.3/ton.
The WASDE numbers looked bearish for the wheat markets. Not only did today’s wheat production data post a surprising rise from previous figures, the WASDE report appeared bearish. It forecast 2013/14 ending stocks for the U.S. well above pre-report averages. December CBOT wheat futures closed 3.25 cents lower at $6.4975/bushel Friday afternoon, while December KCBT wheat futures fell 4.0 cents to $7.085, and December MWE futures slid 1.5 to $7.08.
Cattle futures proved surprisingly firm Friday. Weakness at both the cash and wholesale levels weighed upon cattle futures Thursday night, but CME prices rebounded modestly this morning. Seasonal and technical factors seemingly played substantial roles in the late-week rebound. December cattle futures rallied 0.72 cents to 132.40 cents/pound in late Friday action, while April futures moved up 0.60 to 134.80. Rising feed costs undercut yearling prices. January feeder cattle dropped 0.70 cents to 164.42 cents/pound, while March feeders sank 0.50 cents to 164.32.
Hog futures apparently derived support from related markets. In contrast to the cattle/beef complex, cash hog and pork prices proved surprisingly firm in late-week trading. The fact that many in the industry have been anticipating persistent seasonal weakness probably exaggerated the impact of those gains Friday. December hog futures advanced 0.57 cents at 88.12 cents/pound at their Friday settlement, while April gained 0.52 to 93.70.