Corn futures seemed to suffer a hangover from the big commodity breakdown Friday morning. The financial market dropped sharply Thursday due to concerns about the global economic outlook, especially if the Fed slows it buying of assets. That also prompted a sizeable U.S. dollar rally. Equity index futures bounced in early Friday trading, while the dollar was flat. Nevertheless, the commodity markets were generally weak, which probably reflected expectations for continued financial complex losses during the days and weeks ahead. July corn dipped 2.75 cents to $6.705/bushel in early Friday trading, while December slid 3.75 cents to $5.5675.
The soy complex also struggled to avoid sustained losses in early Friday action. Pessimism about the economic outlook and future demand from China is clearly a significant factor at this point. In addition, the latest Corn Belt weather forecasts seem less dire than those posted around midweek, thereby implying more favorable growing conditions and a larger fall crop. July soybean futures edged up 1.5 cents to $14.99/bushel early Friday morning, while July soyoil sagged 0.04 cents to 48.36 cents/pound, and July soymeal bounced $1.5 to $447.2/ton.
Wheat futures benefited from talk of improved Chinese buying Thursday night. The U.S. markets for the golden grain were generally lower, but traders were also reacting to rumors that Chinese officials are set to embark upon a buying spree for their domestic stockpiling program. In addition, bulls can reasonably argue that weather factors should be supportive of the short-to-intermediate-term price outlook. July CBOT wheat slipped 1.5 cents to $6.99/bushel in early Friday morning activity, while July KCBT wheat skidded 1.75 cents to $7.3525, whereas July MGE futures inched up 2.5 cents to $8.165.
Current financial market weakness is adding to seasonal pressure upon cattle futures. That is, slowing economic growth and a resurgent dollar typically hurt domestic and export demand for beef, which already seems to be suffering due to high cost at the grocery store. Moreover, cattle and beef prices are typically weakest in early summer. August cattle extended recent losses by sliding 0.05 cents to 119.95 cents/pound in early Friday market action, while December moved 0.20 cents lower to 125.72. August feeder cattle futures slipped 0.22 cents to 144.20 cents/pound and November slumped 0.25 to 149.90.
Hog traders seemed to anticipate a seasonal downturn in Thursday night trading. That is, a powerful seasonal rally has driven the whole hog and pork complex to annual highs in recent weeks, but the broad advance has historically tended to end in mid-to-late June. Thus, the fact that the cash and wholesale markets have seemingly lost their upward momentum may bode ill for the early summer outlook. July hog futures sank 0.25 cents to 100.00 cents/pound in early Friday electronic trading, while December declined 0.27 cents to 81.97.
News of reduced Chinese imports exerted fresh pressure upon cotton prices Friday morning. The late pessimism about the economic outlook seems especially bearish for the cotton outlook, since demand is closely tied to the apparel industry, which in turn is very cyclical in nature. However, overnight news that Chinese cotton imports fell 17% during May hardly helped the situation. July cotton dropped 0.32 cents to 84.60 cents/pound as the sun rose over New York Friday morning, while December lost 0.33 to 85.03.