Corn, soybean markets proved generally weak Friday morning

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Corn futures turned decidedly lower Friday morning, due in part to reports of increased farmer sales around the Midwest. However, traders were also reportedly turning their attention to the potential results of the USDA Prospective Plantings report to be released next Thursday. Doane apparently has company in anticipating huge corn acreage again this year. May corn fell 9.0 cents to $7.24/bushel late Friday morning, while December dipped 3.5 cents to $5.65.

Although soybean futures seemingly continue garnering support from South American logistical problems, anticipation of increased U.S. plantings apparently undercut CBOT prices Friday morning. Other firms are reported to be joining Doane in expecting a significant increase in U.S. soybean plantings this spring. May soybeans dropped 10.75 cents to $14.3825/bushel in late Friday morning trading, while May soyoil lost 0.20 cents to 50.22 cents/pound, while May meal slid $4.3 to $418.6/ton.

Wheat futures also turned downward Friday morning, with wire service sources citing precipitation from another weather system crossing the Plains this weekend. Deferred futures may also be suffering from talk of increase spring wheat seedings, as implied by the Doane survey. May CBOT wheat futures skidded 8.25 cents to $7.205/bushel around midsession Friday, while May KCBT wheat dove 7.5 cents to $7.53, and May MGE futures slumped 4.25 cents to $7.985.

Cattle futures bounced from early lows, but remain below their Thursday closes. There is little fresh news at this point, so traders seem to be reacting to the persistent cash and wholesale weakness experienced lately. They may also be adjusting their positions prior to the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report to be released at 2:00 PM today. April cattle edged 0.02 cents higher to 126.45 cents/pound in late Friday morning trading, while August lost 0.07 cents to 123.45. Meanwhile, feeder cattle bounced in response to weaker grain and soy prices; April futures climbed 0.30 cent to 138.60 cents/pound, and August gained 0.40 cents to 148.50.

CME lean hog futures proved relatively weak again Friday morning. That probably reflects the ongoing decline in the CME lean hog index, which is expected to come in at 0.57 cents lower, at 75.30 cents/pound when the official quote is released next Monday. We tend to agree with bulls in thinking the market will turn upward by the mid-month expiration of the nearby April contract. However, traders having to wait for that reversal are unlikely to be particularly enthusiastic about the long side until that happens. April hogs slipped 0.35 cents to 78.00 cents/pound around mid-session Friday, while June dropped 0.17 cent to 89.37.

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