Ag markets proved quite mixed Friday

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Corn suffered from spillover weakness Friday. News that Egypt had made a huge corn purchase boosted CBOT futures soon thereafter, but yellow grain prices subsequently suffered a relapse of Thursday night weakness. That apparently reflected much larger soybean and wheat losses occurring today. May corn edged up 0.5 cent to $4.79/bushel at Friday’s close, while December sagged 0.75 to $4.80.

The soy complex may have suffered from Chinese news. An Thursday night report predicting China’s 2013/14 imports of U.S. beans will set a record around 66-67 million tonnes (up 13% annually) apparently disappointed traders, since the most recent USDA report forecast a figure around 69 million. The fact that nearby futures failed at recent highs Thursday probably exaggerated the decline. May soybeans plunged 25.0 cents to $14.0875/bushel as this week’s trading ended, while May soyoil dropped 0.29 cents to 41.02 cents/pound, and May soymeal dove $10.6 to $455.9/ton.

Talk of early-April rains sparked wheat selling. Much of the recent wheat rally can be credited to persistent dryness across the Great Plains. Thus, the markets were probably vulnerable to overnight forecasts suggesting that region will be blessed with significant rainfall early next month. The drop likely had a significant technical component as well. May CBOT wheat futures fell 10.5 cents to $6.9325/bushel Friday afternoon, while May KCBT wheat futures dropped 10.75 cents to $7.7125 and May MWE futures sank 12.0 to $7.4325.

Cattle futures couldn’t sustain Thursday night gains. Wholesale beef prices tumbled Thursday afternoon, which appeared to weigh upon cattle futures Friday. The overnight CME rebound in response to news of a $2.00 rise in country prices proved surprisingly temporary. April cattle futures tumbled 0.42 cents to 144.00 cents/pound at their week-ending settlement, while August slid 0.25 cents to 133.50. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle bounced 1.40 cents to 175.02 cents/pound, and August gained 0.27 to 177.90.

Hog futures turned mixed again Friday. The country hog and pork markets continued exhibiting astonishing strength Thursday, which spurred sizeable overnight gains. However, bulls again proved unable to sustain gains across the complex, with the mid-year contracts moving decidedly lower later in the day. April hogs advanced 0.87 cents to 125.67 cents/pound at Friday’s close, while June fell 0.47 to 130.32.

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