Employment report seemed to support the ag markets Friday

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Corn futures posted general gains again Friday morning, with multiple factors influencing prices. Old crop tightness is probably continuing support for nearby futures, whereas weather concerns are reportedly boosting new crop values. The strong result on the monthly U.S. Employment report sent equity indexes and the dollar higher, which may have exerted opposing forces upon commodity values. July corn inched 2.5 cents higher to $6.6575/bushel Friday morning, while December advanced 6.5 cents to $5.5475.

Soybean futures were decidedly mixed Friday morning. After having surged overnight, old crop July prices had slipped below unchanged levels. Improved producer selling may have undercut the market, along with a statement from Tyson CEO, who indicated they may import corn this summer. Meanwhile, concerns about the negative impact of forthcoming weather apparently boosted new crop futures. July soybean futures skidded 1.5 cents to $15.2575/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil climbed 0.20 cents to 48.36 cents/pound, and July soybean meal was steady at $454.0/ton.

Wheat futures were trading in narrowly mixed fashion Friday morning, with the winter wheat markets declining slightly and spring wheat values up somewhat. Equity market gains may have been offering support, whereas U.S. dollar strength exerted pressure. One could say the same of the latest weather news, since the Winter Wheat Belt is generally dry and Northern Plains are too wet. July CBOT wheat futures edged 1.75 cents lower to $6.96/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, and July KCBT wheat lost 2.5 cents to $7.36, while July MGE futures rallied 1.75 cents to $8.22.

On Wednesday and Thursday CME cattle traders seemed cautiously optimistic about the likely outcome of cash trading this week. However, expectations reportedly turned negative Friday morning. Talk of limited packing industry interest and sliding choice grade cutout apparently undercut cattle futures. June cattle dropped 0.37 cents to 120.07 cents/pound Friday morning, while December declined 0.37 to 124.92. Meanwhile, August feeder futures sank 0.52 cents to 144.12 cents/pound, and November dove 0.70 cents to 149.67.

Hog traders apparently remained quite confident about short-term price prospects, as indicated by fresh CME gains Friday morning. Another rise in the CME lean hog index (which futures cash-settle against) and optimism about seasonal strength through mid-June rather clearly supported Chicago prices once again. June hog futures jumped 0.65 cents to 97.95 cents/pound just before the lunch hour Friday, while December gained 0.35 cents to 81.35.

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