The crop markets proved quite strong Friday. Although large areas of the western Corn Belt were blessed with rain Thursday morning, forecasts for hot, dry weather in late August apparently boosted corn futures Thursday night and again Friday. Disappointing Iowa results from a major crop tour probably boosted CBOT prices as well. September corn climbed 8.0 cents to $4.9575/bushel in late-Friday action, while December gained 5.5 cents to $4.70.
The soy complex spiked upward Friday morning. Summery short-term weather forecasts for the Corn Belt probably supported the soy complex early this morning. However, the fact that the crop tour reading for Iowa soybeans indicated average pod counts below those seen during last year’s drought almost surely played a major role in today’s surge. September soybeans leapt 36.75 cents to $13.58/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while November beans zoomed up 33.75 to $13.205. September soyoil added 0.26 cents to 42.69 cents/pound, and September soymeal jumped $17.5 to $430.8/ton.
Wheat futures tried to follow corn and soybeans higher Friday. Overnight news that Saudi Arabia tendered for 660,000 tonnes of hard red wheat was apparently offset by a report indicated Russia’s 2013/14 exports could surge by 36%. Forecasts for heat and dryness in spring wheat areas over the next week may facilitate the accelerating harvest, which probably explains the slippage suffered by Minneapolis futures. September CBOT wheat closed 4.0 cents higher at $6.345/bushel Friday afternoon, while September KCBT wheat edged up 1.25 cents to $6.955, but September MGE futures skidded 3.0 cents to $7.1625.
Cattle futures declined ahead of the afternoon COF report. Cattle traders seemed to be evening up positions Friday, due largely to the looming release of the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report at 2:00 PM CDT. The report stated July placements 10% below last year, with the COF total down 6%, which seems quite bullish for December futures. October cattle futures inched up 0.02 cents to 127.22 cents/pound as the lunch hour approached Friday, while December slipped 0.05 cents to 129.67. September feeder cattle futures sank 0.30 cents to 157.40 cents/pound, and November lost 0.40 to 160.05.
Hog futures bounced from technical support Friday. The monthly USDA Cold Storage report stated ending-July U.S. pork stocks well above forecasts, which seemingly exaggerated recent selling in early action. However, futures rallied substantially after bouncing from firm support around the 81.00-cent level. That may bode rather well for short-term prospects. October hog futures advanced 0.70 cents to 85.10 cents/pound at their week-ending settlement, while December surged 0.65 cents to 82.25.