Crop markets generally weak Friday morning

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Forecasts for South American rain may be weighing on corn and beans. Traders seemed to squaring positions ahead of the three-day weekend early Friday morning, with selling seeming to predominate. Bears apparently became more aggressive as the morning passed, which probably marked a response to forecasts for improved rainfall in Brazil and Argentina next week. March corn fell 4.75 cents to $4.2325/bushel in late Friday morning trading, while May lost 4.75 to $4.3075/bushel.

The soy complex remained under pressure. Pre-weekend position squaring and news of improved rainfall prospects for Brazilian and Argentine fields also seemed to depress the soy complex this morning. However, nearby soybean futures appeared to bounce from chart support associated with their intermediate-term moving averages, thereby triggering a late-morning bounce. March soybeans dipped 1.25 cents to $13.1375/bushel around midsession Friday, while March soyoil dropped 0.22 cents to 37.83 cents/pound, and March soymeal slipped $0.4 to $431.6/ton.

The wheat markets moved mostly lower as well. The potential for renewed drought over the Great Plains and a sizeable sale to Egypt boosted wheat futures Thursday. Thus, long liquidation is probably playing a significant role in today’s setback, particularly ahead of the long weekend. Traders seemingly remembered that the current global situation is well into oversupplied territory at the moment. March CBOT wheat futures dove 7.5 cents to $5.6525/bushel by late Friday trading, while March KCBT wheat futures sank 5.25 cents to $6.2425, and March MWE futures slumped 3.75 to $6.2025.

Cattle futures are trying to resume their recent surge. After rocketing upward in chasing record cash and wholesale prices this week, live cattle futures apparently lost momentum Thursday. The afternoon beef report indicated another leap in beef quotes, but the market struggled to find its footing overnight. That still seemed to be the case around midsession. February cattle futures had risen 0.10 cents to 140.25 cents/pound just before lunchtime Friday, while April futures added 0.05 to 139.27. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures edged 0.27 cents lower to 167.97 cents/pound, and May skidded 0.30 to 169.60.

Hog futures proved surprisingly weak this morning. Although the cash hog and wholesale markets were stated firm to significantly higher Thursday afternoon, CME swine futures came under fresh pressure Friday morning. The simple fact that Chicago prices are substantially above the latest quote for the CME lean hog index (cash equivalent price) may explain the slippage. February hogs tumbled 0.65 cents to 86.22 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, and June declined 0.27 to 101.47.

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