Ag markets turned mixed Friday morning

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Corn skidded as soybeans reversed from early Friday highs. Soybeans seemed to be pulling the crop markets higher Friday morning, with traders responding to talk of sustained Chinese demand. However, soy complex bulls apparently started taking profits around midmorning, which in turn undercut the corn market. March corn was flat at $4.405/bushel late Friday morning, while May lost 0.5 to $4.46.

Profit-taking seem to spark Friday’s soybean reversal. Soybean traders seemingly ignored several negative developments as they pushed CBOT prices higher this week. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see prices reverse quickly when bulls started taking profits on recent gains this morning. This may bode rather ill for next week’s action. March soybeans sagged 2.0 cents to $13.4225/bushel around midsession Friday, while March soyoil slumped 0.07 cents to 39.47 cents/pound, and March soymeal stumbled $1.9 to $450.9/ton.

Wheat futures proved able to hold onto gains late Friday morning. The soybean reversal appeared to weigh upon wheat futures as well, but prices at the various exchanges remained in positive territory in late-morning action. That probably reflects weather concerns for the winter wheat crops, whereas spring wheat is likely enjoying support from Canadian transport issues. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 4.75 cents to $6.0025/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while March KCBT wheat futures advanced 5.0 cents to $6.7775, and March MWE futures gained 4.5 to $6.6675.

Cattle futures are setting back from Thursday’s highs. Cash cattle prices rose to $142/cwt Thursday, thereby sparking strong CME gains. However, we suspect traders were actually somewhat disappointed by the cash result, since they thought producers would be able to wring even higher bids from packers. That probably explains the early Friday decline. April cattle futures had plunged 0.80 cents to 141.60 cents/pound by late Friday morning, while August sank 0.40 cents to 131.02. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle skidded 0.20 cents to 170.52 cents/pound, and May stabilized at 171.87.

Cash and wholesale strength are encouraging hog bulls. Although hog futures seemingly rose in concert with cattle Thursday, late-afternoon reports indicated considerable cash and wholesale strength in the hog and pork complex as well. That news, along with expectations for more of the same, almost surely powered early Friday gains. April hogs jumped 1.00 cent to 95.92 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while June surged 0.82 to 105.72.

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