Ag markets proved quite mixed Friday

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Forecasts for South American rain weighed on corn and beans. Traders seemed to squaring positions ahead of the three-day weekend Friday morning, with selling seeming to predominate. Bears apparently became more aggressive as the day passed, which probably marked a response to forecasts for improved rainfall in Brazil and Argentina next week. March corn fell 4.0 cents to $4.24/bushel in late Friday trading, while May lost 3.75 to $4.3175/bushel.

The soy complex posted a surprisingly firm close Friday. Pre-weekend position squaring and news of improved rainfall prospects for Brazilian and Argentine fields depressed the soy complex this morning. However, nearby soybean futures appeared to bounce from chart support associated with their intermediate-term moving averages. Bulls also cited meal strength for a portion of the rise. March soybeans bounced 1.5 cents to $13.165/bushel at their Friday close, while March soyoil dropped 0.31 cents to 37.74 cents/pound, and March soymeal gained $2.5 to $434.5/ton.

The wheat markets moved lower as well. The potential for renewed drought over the Great Plains and a sizeable sale to Egypt boosted wheat futures Thursday. Long liquidation appeared to set in afternoon with the long weekend looming. Moreover, traders seemingly remembered that the current global situation is currently well into oversupplied territory. March CBOT wheat futures dove 9.25 cents to $5.635/bushel to end the week, while March KCBT wheat futures sank 6.25 cents to $6.2325, and March MWE futures slumped 6.25 to $6.1775.

Nearby cattle futures posted a firm closing Friday. After rocketing upward in chasing record cash and wholesale prices this week, live cattle futures apparently lost momentum Thursday. The Chicago market essentially spent Friday consolidating the preceding jump and settled only slightly higher. Cash and wholesale prices will likely set the tone for next week’s trading. February cattle futures settled 0.20 cents higher at 140.35 cents/pound Friday, while April futures added 0.07 to 139.30. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures fell 0.32 cents to 167.92 cents/pound, and May slid 0.40 to 169.50.

Hog futures proved rather weak before the weekend. Although the cash hog and wholesale markets were stated firm to significantly higher Thursday afternoon, CME swine futures came under fresh pressure Friday. The midday quotes were mixed. The simple fact that Chicago prices are substantially above the latest quote for the CME lean hog index (cash equivalent price) probably explains the slippage. February hogs tumbled 0.70 cents to 86.17 cents/pound late Friday afternoon, and June declined 0.17 to 101.57.

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