Ag markets proved rather volatile again Friday morning

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Corn suffered from spillover weakness Friday morning. News that Egypt had made a huge corn purchase boosted CBOT futures soon thereafter, but yellow grain prices have since suffered a relapse of Thursday night weakness. That apparently reflects much larger soybean and wheat losses occurring this morning. May corn slipped 0.5 cent to $4.78/bushel around midsession Friday, while December sagged 1.0 to $4.7975.

The soy complex may be suffering from Chinese news. An overnight 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 yesterday is probably exaggerating the decline. May soybeans plunged 26.25 cents to $14.075/bushel late Friday morning, while May soyoil dropped 0.22 cents to 41.09 cents/pound, and May soymeal dove $11.3 at $455.2/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 6.75 cents to $6.97/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while May KCBT wheat futures dropped 7.25 cents to $7.7475 and May MWE futures sank 5.75 to $7.495.

Cattle futures couldn’t sustain overnight gains. Wholesale beef prices tumbled Thursday afternoon, which appears to being weighing upon cattle futures today. The overnight CME rebound in response to news of a $2.00 rise in country prices proved surprisingly temporary. April cattle futures tumbled 0.77 cents to 143.65 cents/pound as Friday dawned over Chicago, while August slid 0.67 cents to 133.07. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle declined 0.37 cents to 174.27 cents/pound, and August moved down 0.32 to 177.30.

Hog futures turned mixed again Friday morning. The country hog and pork markets continued exhibited astonishing strength Thursday, which spurred sizeable overnight gains. However, bulls are again proving unable to sustain gains across the complex, with the mid-year contracts moving decidedly lower by midsession. April hogs advanced 0.52 cents to 125.32 cents/pound in late-morning action, while June fell 0.47 to 130.32.

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