Corn futures closed 2 to 5 cents higher on Friday. New crop contracts found renewed strength today after moderate losses Thursday. Weather was the dominant factor driving market prices today. The trade expects another round of reductions in new crop condition ratings on Monday due to dry conditions across the Midwest. New crop corn needs moisture as it enters the pollination phase, but the outlook over the next week is expected to remain hot and dry adding more heat stress to an already weakening corn crop.
Soybean futures closed 1/2 to 3 cents higher on Friday. Market prices slipped from midday highs but managed to close higher than the previous day. The market was held up by Midwest weather worries and tightening old crop stocks. Dry conditions and lack of soil moisture across the Midwest has negatively affected new crop corn and soybeans. USDA lowered crop condition ratings for both markets this week and is expected to decrease ratings for the upcoming week as well.
Wheat futures closed 3 to 17 cents higher on Friday. Spillover support from corn and dry weather conditions in Russia, China, and Black Sea Regions supported prices. Traders will continue to keep a close eye on global wheat production level as the market outlook turns more bullish. So far over the last two weeks Russia, Australia, Ukraine and China have lower their wheat production estimates. It is expected that USDA will lower its wheat production outlook in next month’s WASDE report.
Cattle futures closed 40 to 70 cents higher on Friday. The market closed higher on speculative buying ahead of a bearish USDA report. Cattle prices rebounded as traders bought into what may be perceived as an underpriced market. Today’s Cattle on Feed report is expected to show May placements 13 percent higher, May marketings up 5%, and cattle on feed 1 percent higher than the previous year.
Lean Hog futures closed lower on Friday. The market has posted modest gains this week due primarily to strength in the cash market. Today profit taking and repositioning ahead of today’s Cold Storage report pressured market prices along with easing cash prices. Analyst’s estimate May’s cold storage at 643 million pounds, up 95 million pounds from the previous year. Today’s hog slaughter was reported down 7,000 head from the previous week and up 9% from the previous year.