Corn still suffers from demand concerns

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Corn continues suffering from demand concerns. Thursday’s announcement that several Senators were introducing bipartisan legislation to eliminate the U.S. ethanol mandate, along with worries about Chinese buying after that country rejected several shipments contaminated with an unapproved GMO strain are still weighing upon corn futures today. Yesterday’s technical failure at 40-day moving average resistance is adding to the pressure. March corn futures dipped 4.75 cents to $4.295/bushel by late Friday morning, while May lost 4.75 cents to $4.3775.

Good South American weather is weighing upon the soy complex. Little fresh soybean news has emerged today, which seemingly threw traders back upon concerns about potential Chinese buying and favorable South American weather. Big Brazilian and Argentine crops in 2014 could undercut the U.S. market. January soybeans fell 5.75 cents to $13.18/bushel around midsession Friday, while January soyoil dropped 0.39 cents to 39.60 cents/pound, and January soymeal slid $0.5 to $429.6/ton.

The wheat markets remained weak. Wheat futures have accompanied corn and soybean prices lower this week, with huge 2013 global production and the resulting stockpiles rather obviously weighing upon prices. The late losses have also gotten market momentum on the side of the bears, especially with numerous contracts dropping to fresh 2013 lows this week. The markets are essentially looking for a point at which wheat becomes attractive to buyers. March CBOT wheat futures tumbled 5.75 cents to $6.28/bushel late Friday morning, while March KCBT wheat futures declined 6.0 cents to $6.7225, and March MWE futures skidded 3.0 cents to $6.61.

Diminished cash expectations reportedly weighed upon cattle futures this morning. Short-term cash market expectations seemingly turned more positive Thursday, but those hopes apparently dimmed this morning. Thus, Chicago prices also dipped. Still, wintry weather, limited feedlot supplies and seasonally declining marketings seem likely to limit losses. February cattle futures slumped 0.32 cents to 132.77 cents/pound just before lunchtime Friday, and April futures slipped 0.32 to 133.80. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle descended 0.25 cents to 166.82 cents/pound, while March feeders stumbled 0.30 to 166.25.

Hog futures reacted poorly to the latest pork news Friday. Hopes for renewed seasonal strength as country hog prices rose Wednesday and Thursday supported futures. However, a near-unanimous Thursday dive in pork prices set the stage for a poor CME showing today. Persistent weakness might easily cause traders to forget any short-term cash strength February hog futures dove 0.67 cents to 87.32 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, while June sagged 0.57 to 99.22.

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