Ag markets were mostly lower at the end of the week

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Corn futures proved surprisingly weak on Friday. The July contract expired at sharply higher levels, but deferred futures were generally lower. That very likely marked a reaction to the latest weather forecasts, since those suggested parts of the Corn Belt could be blessed with more beneficial weather in late July. Bulls reportedly took profits on numerous long positions as well. September corn futures plunged 15.25 cents to $5.455/bushel at their Friday settlement, while December tumbled 17.5 cents to $5.0925.

The soy complex seemingly led the crop markets lower Friday. Forecasts for better weather over the Corn Belt later this month apparently undercut the new crop contracts. As in the corn pit, widespread long liquidation probably exaggerated the resulting decline. Oil futures continue suffering from Asian palm oil weakness and their position on the wrong side of domestic crush decisions. August soybean futures plummeted 43 cents to $14.29/bushel at the Friday close, while August soybean oil sank 0.31 cents to 46.22 cents/pound and August soymeal dove $15.0 to $442.9/ton.

Wheat futures could not sustain early Friday gains. Unlike corn and soybeans, the weather seemingly had little impact upon the golden grain markets, since Northern Hemisphere winter wheat harvests are probably wrapping up. Actually, optimism about potential Chinese demand and the support WASDE report boosted wheat prices. However, bulls could not sustain the upward momentum in the face of diving corn and soybean prices. September CBOT wheat slipped 1.0 cent to $6.81/bushel in late Friday trading, while September KCBT wheat was unchanged at $7.085 and September MGE futures dipped 0.75 cent to $7.665.

Short-term pessimism seemingly weighed upon cattle futures late this week. Cattle traders anticipating a seasonal second-half rally have built significant premiums into 2013 CME futures, but recent wholesale weakness and growing pessimism about the likely outcome of cash trading this week apparently kept the market under wraps. Southern Plains cattle traded at unchanged levels around noon. August cattle slipped 0.07 cents to 121.85 cents/pound at the CME close Friday, while December declined 0.12 cents to 128.32. August feeder futures were unchanged at 150.12 to end the week, whereas November climbed 0.35 cents to 155.72.

Hog futures were mixed to weak again Friday. Ongoing wholesale losses are probably the main reason for the sustained slippage in Chicago prices lately, since those declines very likely presage similar losses in cash values during the second half of the year. Discounted CME contracts look much less promising in that context. August hog futures closed 0.37 cents lower at 94.90 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December sagged 0.10 cents to 81.35.

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