Corn prices are expected to open steady to a little higher on Friday. There is not much new news to move the markets on Friday. Overnight trading suggests that the stock market will open lower and the dollar will be stronger early Friday. There is s line of thunderstorms moving across the Corn Belt which will probably slow planting, but traders don’ see very worried about it at this point. Market fundamentals for old crop corn remain generally bullish.
Soybean prices are expected to open steady to 5 cents lower. Soybeans traded mostly lower overnight with traders taking note of slow-than-expected growth in China’s economy in the first quarter. The weakness in the stock market and the strengthening in the dollar will also put some pressure on soybean prices when the markets open. But demand is strong and U.S. export sales continue to be reported and the bullish outlook provides underlying support to the market.
Wheat prices are expected to open mixed on Friday. Overnight Chicago contracts recorded modest gains, while prices in Kansas City and Minneapolis were down. The strength in the value of the dollar will keep some pressure on wheat prices early Friday. Recent export sales information has been generally disappointing. The updated Drought Monitor shows moderate to severe drought persisting in west Texas, up through the Oklahoma panhandle and into Southwest Kansas and Southeast Colorado.
Cattle futures prices are expected to open lower on Friday. Cattle prices were in positive territory during most of the overnight trade, but couldn’t hold the gains through to the end. Even though cash cattle prices were up this week and cattle futures posted big gains on Thursday, beef cutouts continue to slide lower. Cattle weights are declining, but so far that hasn’t resulted in higher prices for beef. Cattle sales in the cash market were light to moderate this week, suggesting some carryover into next week. That is not really a prescription for cash or futures price improvement.
Hog prices are expected to open 50 cents to $1 lower. The uptick in pork prices on Wednesday that gave futures prices a boost on Thursday turned lower again, giving back more than 40 percent of the gain. With cash hog prices and pork prices lower on Thursday, hog futures are expected to turn down as well. Hog futures are far above cash prices which will also keep some pressure on nearby contracts. With extremely poor processing margins, cash hog prices are expected to be steady to lower on Friday with light trade volume.
Cotton prices are expected to open 20 to 50 points higher. Cotton futures prices have moved mostly sideways this week with the July contract holding between 89 cents and 90 cents. The Export Sales report on Thursday again showed cancellations exceeding new sales for 2011/12, but cotton futures rallied anyway. Some key cotton growing areas in Texas got decent rain which should help the crop get off to a good start in that area. With the slower-than-expected growth in China and the strengthening in the dollar index, there are few things we can point to driving cotton prices higher, but they were higher in overnight trade and it looks like that will carryover into the open.