Crop markets narrowly mixed Friday morning

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A lack of news and reduced Asian activity are stifling crop market moves. Many Asian traders began celebrating the Lunar New Year today, thereby limiting activity. When combined with a general lack of news, few can be surprised by flat grain trading today. Corn futures are apparently suffering a bit of long liquidation in the wake of Thursday’s advance. March corn slipped 1.0 cent to $4.325/bushel late Friday morning, while May lost 1.25 to $4.3825.

The soy complex was decidedly mixed Friday morning. Traders in the soy markets expect the accelerating South American harvest to depress prices during the coming weeks, since U.S. beans have dominated the export markets since last fall. However, the fact that vigorous global demand has greatly reduced domestic supplies is apparently providing persistent support. March soybeans edged up 2.0 cents to $12.77/bushel around midday Friday, while March soyoil dipped 0.08 cents to 36.99 cents/pound, and March soymeal moved up $2.2 to $427.4/ton.

The wheat markets are bouncing from Wednesday’s lows. Diminished weather threats to current world crops seemed to trigger Wednesday’s wheat drop to multi-year lows. Prices are now recovering, but remain below former resistance. Huge global supplies seem likely to limit the markets’ upside potential in the short term. March CBOT wheat futures rose 2.75 cents to $5.5625/bushel in late Friday morning action, while March KCBT wheat futures gained 3.25 cents to $6.14, and March MWE futures added 1.75 to $5.99.

Hopes for cash firmness may be supporting cattle futures. Cattle futures lost ground Thursday night after afternoon beef quotes proved surprisingly weak. Traders have been thinking wholesale losses would cause a substantial cash market drop when trading breaks loose today. Background talk about ongoing country negotiations is probably limiting losses at this juncture. February cattle futures sank 0.17 cents to 141.97 cents/pound around midsession Friday, while April slumped 0.35 at 140.87. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle bounced 0.50 cents to 169.20 cents/pound, and May surged 0.50 to 169.92.

A Tyson statement boosted deferred hog futures. The expiring February hog contract slipped again Friday morning; it’s handicapped by its premium to spot quotes. However, Tyson officials suggested spring-summer hog supplies could fall 2%-4% this year due to the spread of PEDV disease and resulting piglet deaths. Deferred futures rallied in response. February hogs skidded 0.20 cents to 86.17 cents/pound by late Friday morning, whereas June jumped 0.82 to 104.17.

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