Commodities were generally higher ahead of the U.S. jobs report

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Corn futures continued their Thursday advance overnight. That probably reflected old crop tightness and some concerns about the ultimate impact of slow spring plantings. However, the rise may also have been part of general commodity rally in response to the large U.S. dollar losses of the past 10 days. The greenback is now at its lowest level since late February. July corn rose 1.0 cent to $6.6425/bushel early Friday morning, while December gained 4.75 cents to $5.53.

The tight old crop soybean situation and slow plantings also seemed to boost the soy complex early this morning. Bulls could point to the U.S. dollar decline, as well as to significant early-morning palm oil strength as additional reasons for the rally. July soybean futures jumped 11.25 cents to $15.385/bushel as the sun rose in Chicago Friday, while July soyoil climbed 0.18 cents to 48.34 cents/pound, and July soybean meal added $3.8 to $457.9/ton.

Talk of forecasts for mid-June heat over the western Plains may be supporting wheat futures at this point, since plants in that part of the country are reportedly more vulnerable to high temperatures after the poor weather experienced in late winter and early spring. The U.S. dollar slide is very likely offering support as well. July CBOT wheat futures edged 2.25 cents higher to $7.00/bushel in early Friday trading, while July KCBT wheat inched up 0.75 cents to $7.3925, and July MGE futures ascended 4.0 cents to $8.2425.

Although demand concerns still appear to be weighing upon the minds of cattle traders at the CME, recent cash firmness seems to be supporting the market at this time. Country prices have stabilized around $125/cwt the past two weeks and traders seemingly have little reason to expect fresh weakness. Futures were decidedly mixed overnight as traders await cash news and the monthly U.S. Employment report. June cattle crept up 0.02 cents to 120.47 cents/pound in early Friday action, while December dipped 0.05 to 125.25. August feeder futures gained 0.15 cents to 144.80 cents/pound, and November skidded 0.20 cents to 150.17.

Despite late slippage at both the cash and wholesale levels, hog traders apparently remain optimistic about the early-summer swine outlook. CME futures rose strongly Thursday, and added modestly to those gains overnight. The ongoing U.S. dollar decline is improving export prospects as well. June hog futures rose 0.25 cents to 97.55 cents/pound early Friday morning, while December rallied 0.25 cents to 81.25.

After rallying on good export news and supportive financial market developments Thursday, cotton futures were mixed early Friday morning. The ongoing dollar decline apparently supported the nearby July future, whereas the prospect of improving weather may have hurt the new crop contracts. The monthly U.S. Employment report coming out later in the morning could greatly affect prices as well. July cotton futures surged 0.51 cents to 85.38 cents/pound early Friday morning, while December added 0.09 cent to 85.48.


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