Ag markets were quite mixed Friday morning

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Corn traders may be anticipating bullish data. Corn futures are testing technical resistance around recent highs, which is rather surprising when one recalls the looming release of the USDA’s Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports next Monday morning. Position squaring seems likely, but the early gains may indicate traders are expecting bullish data. May corn inched up 1.25 cents to $4.9325/bushel late Friday morning, while December rose 0.5 to $4.885.

Position squaring seemed to cap early Friday soy action. Traders in the soy complex are also anticipating next Monday’s USDA reports, but they seemed less willing to push the market in either direction beforehand. Beans and meal declined modestly in Friday morning action, while oil appeared to benefit from firm Asian palm prices last night. May soybeans edged up 1.5 cents to $14.38/bushel around midsession Friday, while May soyoil gained 0.13 cents to 40.56 cents/pound, and May soymeal skidded $0.7 to $469.8/ton.

Improved weather prospects seemed to sink wheat futures this morning. The latest weather forecasts suggest the Great Plains may get better rainfall in early April, which rather obviously could boost wheat production prospects. That news apparently triggered widespread long liquidation, especially with the reports looming Monday. May CBOT wheat futures dove 15.75 cents to $6.9475/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while May KCBT wheat futures plunged 17.75 cents to $7.66 and May MWE futures tumbled 14.0 cents to $7.4025.

Big beef losses are limiting CME cattle gains. Cattle futures were clearly supported by this week’s cash market push to record highs. However, beef cutout values fell sharply Thursday afternoon, which almost surely caused the CME losses posted overnight. Futures have rebounded from those early lows. April cattle futures bounced 0.35 cents to 146.82 cents/pound in Friday morning activity, while August added 0.05 cents to 135.47. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle dropped 0.22 cents to 179.27 cents/pound, but August rallied 0.32 to 181.47.

Hog traders are likely squaring positions. After suffering a big early-week setback, hog futures rebounded strongly Wednesday, Thursday and again last night. Renewed cash market gains likely powered the rise, although pork quotes are now showing signs of weakness. That news, along with concerns about the afternoon release of the quarterly Hogs & Pigs report apparently spurred widespread position squaring this morning. April hog futures had dipped 0.17 cents to 125.30 late Friday morning, while June had climbed 0.67 to 129.97.

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