Ag market reactions to USDA reports generally bearish

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Corn futures declined significantly prior to the midday release of the USDA WASDE and Crop Production reports, which probably reflected early U.S. dollar gains. Those seemed somewhat bearish for the corn market, since they forecast the carryout for both 2012/13 and 2013/14 slightly above average industry predictions. July corn fell 16.75 cents to $6.32/bushel late Friday morning, while December dropped 13.0 cents to $5.285.

Prices across the soy complex were mixed Friday morning. The midsession WASDE and Crop Production reports changed that, with futures moving modestly lower in concert with the grain markets. As with the corn forecasts, 2012/13 and 2013/14 carryout stocks were projected at levels above generally anticipated levels. July soybean futures had dipped 3.5 cents to $14.0525/bushel just before noon CDT Friday, while July soyoil lost 0.04 cents to 49.18 cents/pound, and July soybean meal slid $2.2 to $411.0/ton.

Wheat futures came under considerable downward pressure Friday morning, as traders reacted badly to the U.S. dollar advance. The USDA WASDE and Crop Production data published later in the morning were apparently construed as being bearish by traders, since prices continued declining after the numbers were released. July CBOT wheat futures dove 18.75 cents to $7.0475/bushel around midsession Friday while July KCBT wheat plunged 18.75 cents to $7.605, and July MGE futures tumbled 17.0 cents to $8.085.

News of surprising cash market weakness undercut cattle futures despite record-high beef prices this week. Traders obviously expect much more spot market slippage over the next few weeks, which largely explains the CME weakness seen Friday morning. Cattle futures did not react significantly to the USDA reports. June cattle dipped 0.22 cents to 120.32 cents/pound in early Friday morning trading, while December skidded 0.12 cents to 125.17. Feeder cattle futures rose slightly in response to the prospect of lower feed costs. August advanced 0.35 cents to 146.32 cents/pound, while November moved 0.27 cents higher to 151.27.

Chicago hog prices remained under pressure Friday morning despite recent cash and wholesale strength. The futures weakness almost surely reflects the growing belief that the early-spring hog/pork rally has run its course. As with cattle futures, the swine market also responded little to the USDA reports. June hog futures descended 0.32 cents to 90.25 cents/pound, while December futures lost 0.60 cents to 77.05.


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