Ag markets widely mixed Friday morning

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The robust result of the monthly Employment report sent the equity markets to record highs Friday morning, which in turn seemed to prompt widespread liquidation of commodity positions. Corn futures seemed to fall victim to that selling in the wake of recent gains. Indeed, profit-taking apparently hit the market despite price supportive conditions. July corn rose 0.5 cents to $6.6225/bushel Friday morning, while December fell 2.5 cents to $5.565.

In contrast to the grain losses suffered Friday morning, soybean futures rebounded from recent losses. Bearish traders may also have been taking profits on previously established short positions. Otherwise, not a great deal had changed from Thursday. July soybean futures had jumped 20.75 cents to $13.93/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil leapt 0.55 cents to 49.04 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $5.7 to $411.9/ton.

Wheat futures sank Friday morning in apparent response to the results of the Wheat Quality Council tour of Kansas winter wheat fields concluded Thursday. Their crop estimate, at 313.1 million bushels fell well short of the average forecast stemming from the past five tours (at 341.3 million) and the actual 2012 figure (at 382.2 million). However, the result very likely exceeded earlier expectations. July CBOT wheat futures slipped 2.5 cents to $7.26/bushel in Friday morning activity, while July KCBT wheat dove 8.5 cents to $7.8225 and July MGE futures declined 3.25 cents to $8.22.

Cattle futures reportedly set back early Friday morning as bulls took profits on recent gains. The decline accelerated downward later in the morning, possibly in reaction to talk that wholesale prices have lost their upward momentum. Traders may also be thinking the ongoing surge could end quickly in the near future, with cash and wholesale prices declining sharply soon thereafter. June cattle plunged 1.65 cents to 122.00 cents/pound by late Thursday morning, while December lost 1.55 cents to 126.92. August feeder cattle futures plummeted 2.07 cents to 147.57 cents/pound, while November skidded 2.27 cents to 152.00.

CME lean hog futures were steady to weak Friday morning, with most contracts declining rather significantly. Mixed cash quotes probably played a role in the general weakness, as did disappointment with the monthly export data published around midmorning. June hog futures fell 0.62 cents to 92.20 cents/pound just before lunchtime Friday, while December futures inched 0.15 cents lower to 78.50.

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