Ag markets turned mixed late Friday morning

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Improved planting prospects are depressing corn futures. The grain and soy markets bounced Thursday night, but corn has turned lower. Talk of improved planting weather apparently triggered fresh selling, since farmers could get a great deal of grain planted during the prospective window. July corn fell 7.0 cents to $5.00/bushel late Friday morning, while December lost 5.25 cents to $4.9425.

The soy complex is trading in decidedly mixed fashion. The potential for accelerated plantings also seems to be weighing upon new-crop soybean and meal futures. Conversely, the persistent tightness of the old-crop situation appears to be supporting nearby futures. Oil values have rebounded somewhat from Thursday’s big losses. A private forecast weighed on beans and meal in late-morning action. July soybeans edged up 1.5 cents to $14.625/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil ran up 0.30 cents to 41.46 cents/pound, and July soymeal rose $0.5 to $477.2/ton.

Weather and war possibilities are likely supporting wheat futures. Wheat futures also bounced Thursday night, but they continued rising Friday morning. The final reports from the Wheat Quality Council tour posted yesterday afternoon are probably boosting the wheat markets, especially since that region expects no short-term moisture relief. The Black Sea situation also seems to be heating up, thereby seeming to spur spring wheat gains. July CBOT wheat futures rallied 9.0 cents to $7.1625/bushel by late Friday morning, while July KCBT wheat futures leapt 18.25 cents to $8.2225, and July MWE futures climbed 14.25 to $7.755.

Cattle traders may already be looking forward to next week. Country cattle prices proved surprisingly strong Thursday, which sparked a big surge in CME futures. And while that might have spurred additional Chicago strength today, today’s slippage suggests traders are once again anticipating seasonal weakness during the days and weeks just ahead. June cattle slumped 0.45 cents to 138.80 cents/pound as lunchtime neared Friday, while December stabilized at 144.35. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle jumped 1.02 cents to 191.50 cents/pound, and October surged 0.90 cents to 191.87.

Anticipation of seasonal strength may have boosted hog futures. Pork weakness has undercut CME hogs this week, although moderate cash slippage may have limited the damage. Today’s early Chicago bounce may reflect industry expectations for seasonal strength through the balance of spring. June hog futures bounce 0.27 cents to 123.07 cents/pound in late Friday-morning action, while December advanced 0.37 to 93.77.

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