Corn futures ended mixed. USDA reported corn export sales to Mexico and South Korea for 2012/13 delivery. Spot basis levels are strong amid solid demand and slow farmer selling. Stronger cash prices helped boost nearby futures, but at the same time, favorable weather and new-crop prospects weighed on December futures. The December contract fell to the lowest level in more than a year. Outside markets were sharply lower with crude oil down more than $4.00 per barrel. July corn settled 5 ¾ cents higher at $6.20 ¼. The December contract was 5 ¼ cents lower at $5.24 ¼.
Soybean futures settled mixed on Friday. Soybean futures saw some volatility throughout trading today. Prices declined as the U.S. dollar remained strong coupled with lower crude oil prices and disappointing U.S. employment data. Alternatively, prices were encouraged by USDA export sales of 120,000 tonnes to an undisclosed destination for the 2012/2013 crop year and increased demand for soybeans due to drought in South America. July futures were up 4 3/4 cents to close at $14.78 1/4 and November future were down 1 cent to close at $13.66 3/4.
Wheat futures closed lower Friday. The higher-than-expected Kansas Wheat Tour production estimate was just one factor. The larger issue was more negative economic reports that have the outside markets down sharply; especially crude oil. The spreads pessimism about the global economy and global demand for commodities. Another factor is continued weakness in new crop corn on big acreage intentions, rapid planting and an improving weather outlook. With wheat competitive as a feed grain, weaker new crop corn prices take wheat down with them. CBOT July closed 6 cents lower at $6.09 ½; is 11 cents lower at $6.04 ½; KCBT July closed 6 cents low at $6.27; and MGE July closed 1 ½ cents lower at $7.44.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday. Cattle futures reversed gains from yesterday’s surge in prices. Today’s release of weak U.S. employment data caused market prices to spiral downward causing sell-offs across all commodities. Cash cattle sales were reported in Kansas at $120 per cwt live, with approximate trade of 3,000 head. Daily cattle slaughter was up 6.96% at 123,000 head from a week ago at 115,000 head. Boxed beef prices also declined. Choice prices were down 76 cents at $190.20 while select declined 59 cents at $186.31. June cattle futures settled 22 cents lower at $115.375. August was 5 cents lower at $118.50.
Lean hog futures closed sharply lower on Friday. The hog market was under pressure from both cash market developments and weakness in outside markets. Cash hog prices continue to slide lower and the stocks market was down on disappointing job numbers. The June contract fell to a new low at $83.73, down $1.20 and July was 85 cents lower, falling to $85.35.