Crop futures appear to be rising on short-covering Friday morning

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Short covering seems to be supporting the crop markets before the weekend. After having tumbled to three-month lows after Wednesday’s WASDE report, corn futures firmed Thursday. Priced followed-through upon those gains overnight, with nearby July leading the way higher. July corn rallied 4.5 cents to $4.485/bushel Thursday night, while December gained 3.5 cents to $4.4725.

The soy complex also bounded overnight. As with the grain markets, little fundamental news emerged last night, so traders were very likely inclined to take profits on recently established short positions before the weekend. They probably don’t want to risk being long through next Monday’s NOPA crush report either. Another round of Asian palm gains is very likely boosting the oil market again. July soybeans bounced 6.75 cents to $14.22/bushel in early Friday action, while July soyoil advanced 0.38 cents to 38.96 cents/pound, and July soymeal rose $3.4 to $472.6/ton.

The wheat markets are moving upward as well. Big wheat importer Egypt announced purchases of Romanian and Russian wheat this morning, which suggests U.S. wheat remains uncompetitive on the global market. Still, domestic futures built upon Thursday’s late firmness this morning, thereby very likely reflecting widespread short-covering before the weekend. July CBOT wheat futures edged up 2.0 cents to $5.8725/bushel shortly after sunrise Friday, while July KCBT wheat lifted 5.0 cents to $7.105 and July MWE futures added 3.5 to $6.855.

Cattle futures are digesting Thursday’s big advance. News of a surprising increase in cash cattle prices triggered a major rise in CME cattle futures yesterday. Prices proved mixed last night, which seemingly reflects the divergent nature of late-Thursday beef quotes. Seasonal wholesale weakness could put a damper on follow-through rally attempts. August cattle moved up 0.17 cents to 145.22 cents/pound in early Friday trading, while December slipped 0.22 cents to 150.42. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle dropped 0.45 cents to 205.40 and October slumped 0.37 to 206.30.

Cash and wholesale gains are boosting hog futures. The CME swine market followed cattle higher Thursday, with reports of country and pork gains also encouraging bulls. Thursday’s late-afternoon reports confirmed that strength, which spurred continued buying overnight. August hog futures surged 0.77 cents 131.57 as Friday activity accelerated, while December ran up 0.92 cents to 99.57.

Cotton traded mixed in overnight action. ICE cotton futures resisted bearish selling stemming from the weekly Export Sales report yesterday, which seemingly set the stage for a technically powered rally in the near future. Bulls were probably pleased by the late announcement of reduced ICE trading margins. Still, new-crop December dipped overnight, thereby undercutting bullish scenarios. July cotton climbed 0.19 cents to 85.81 cents/pound early Friday morning, while December cotton sagged 0.09 to 77.74.

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