Corn, cattle markets end the week higher

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Corn futures settled 4 to 6 cents higher on Friday. Corn futures turned higher at midday, shaking off pressures from the euro zone debt crisis, Spanish downgrade, and rising dollar index. Market prices closed higher on dry weather concern across the U.S. Midwest this weekend and tightening corn stocks. Temperatures are forecasted to reach mid 90s, adding stress to an already moisture strapped corn crops.

Soybean settled 1 to 10 cents lower on Friday. Bullish market fundamentals were not enough to uplift the soybean market. Today, USDA reported significant soybean export sales to China ( 410,000 tonnes) and Egypt (120,000 tonnes). However, global economic uncertainty, a firm dollar index and weakness in the crude oil market proved stronger than market fundamentals.

Wheat futures settled 2 to 12 cents lower on Friday. Wheat futures remained lower on outside market pressures and fast progressing winter wheat harvest. KCBT futures were down by as much as 14 cents as forecasts for dry, hot conditions in the U.S. Plains are favorable for wheat harvest. Shaky financial markets, firm dollar index, and outside market pressures also depressed wheat futures. However, if stressful crop conditions persist in the Black Sea Region, market prices may see some support.

Cattle futures closed higher on Friday. Cattle futures ended on a high note not despite price volatility at midday due to the on-going EU debt crisis and renewed strength in the U.S. dollar. Beef cutout values were reported lower at midday but affected prices minimally. The market was supported by steady to higher cash prices. Cash prices in Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska were reported $1 higher than the previous week.

Lean hog futures closed mixed on Friday. Trade in the market can be characterized as very volatile before ending mixed to mostly lower. Hog futures were up at one point during morning trade despite slight profit taking and discounts in the cash market. However, poor packer margins and lower pork cutout values pushed market prices down.

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