Livestock futures proved much weaker than the crop markets Friday

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Corn futures staged a Friday comeback. News of fresh Chinese cancellations of U.S. corn imports and the improved Corn Belt moisture situation seemed to weigh upon corn futures Friday morning. However, talk that forecasts are too wet, thereby potentially leading to planting delays seemed to boost yellow grain prices at the end of the day. May corn settled 1.75 cents higher at $5.0175/bushel to end the week, while December ran up 5.25 to $5.0675.

The tight supply situation seemingly limited soy losses. The tightness of the domestic situation probably offered support for old crop soy values this morning, but active long liquidation and spread covering reportedly dragged nearby bean futures lower. Deferred futures were mixed, which may have reflected confusion about forthcoming weather implications for spring plantings. May soybeans declined 1.5 cents to $14.7375/bushel Friday afternoon, while May soyoil skidded 0.10 cents to 41.57 cents/pound, and May soymeal dipped $1.0 to $479.1/ton.

The latest weather forecasts again appeared to depress wheat markets. Although the latest weather forecasts don’t seem particularly promising on the moisture front, wheat futures posted across-the-board losses Friday. Wire service reports cited improved weather for the drop, but we suspect a significant technical component to the selling as well. May CBOT wheat futures fell 6.25 cents to $6.6975/bushel at their Friday settlement, while May KCBT wheat futures dropped 10.25 cents to $7.3375 and May MWE futures tumbled 9.0 cents to $7.215.

Cattle futures suffered from spillover hog weakness. Big losses in the hog pit seemed to spill over into cattle futures Friday. That may have exaggerated concerns about a potential drop in country cattle prices, especially with wholesale beef prices reportedly proving quite weak as well. The futures drop may be a self-fulfilling prophecy for today’s cash trading. June cattle futures plunged 2.57 cents to 134.80 cents/pound as pit trading ended Friday, while December dove 2.07 to 138.85. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle sank 1.62 cents to 178.52 cents/pound, and August lost 1.60 to 180.22.

Big wholesale losses sparked strong hog selling. Cash hog quotes proved quite firm Thursday afternoon, but pork cutout values plummeted. That breakdown clearly triggered active selling in CME hog futures Friday morning. Most contracts locked at limit-down levels despite signs of a wholesale rebound. June hog futures crashed the daily 3.0-cent limit to 120.55 cents/pound in late Friday action, while December tumbled 2.40 to 89.10.

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