Most ag markets closed weakly Friday afternoon

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Corn futures lost ground Friday afternoon. Expectations for a large US harvest continue weighing upon corn futures. CBOT prices were actually steady to higher in late morning action, which may have reflected trader reluctance to push the market very far in either direction before the weekend. However, general crop market weakness seemed to drag prices downward as the week ended. December corn futures closed 0.25 cent lower at $4.40 Friday afternoon, while May futures declined 0.25 cent to $4.6075.

Soybeans accelerated downward as Friday passed. After soybeans and oil posted firm showings in Asia Thursday night, Chicago traders were likely expecting similar gains, especially after the USDA announced sizeable sales to Taiwan and China. And yet soybean futures dipped in morning trading and fell further as the close loomed. Traders have been paying more attention to the current accelerated harvest pace and strong yields than to ideas that next week’s weather will slow the gather. November soybean futures tumbled 9.75 cents to $13.00/bushel at Friday’s close, while December soyoil dropped 0.40 cents to 40.73 cents/pound, and December soymeal skidded $2.5 to $423.5/ton.

Wheat futures dipped before the weekend. The golden grain markets suffered from a general dearth of news Friday. Traders were probably evening up positions before the exchanges shut down for the weekend, which, given recent strength, implied lots of long liquidation. December CBOT wheat futures fell 5.75 cents to $6.9075/bushel in late Friday action, while December KCBT wheat futures sank 5.25 cents to $7.59 and December MWE futures lost 7.0 cents to $7.45.

Cattle futures took a surprising Friday afternoon tumble. Cash and wholesale strength seen earlier in the week encouraged bulls in the CME pit Friday morning. However, midday beef losses seemingly sparked late selling, with only the December live cattle contract posted a higher week-ending close. December cattle settled up 0.10 cents at 132.97 cents/pound Friday, while April declined 0.47 to 134.45. November feeder cattle slumped 0.30 cents to 166.65 cents/pound and January feeders lost 0.65 to 166.05.

Renewed talk of spreading PEDV infections seemingly boosted hog futures again Friday. Although the hog and pork complex could face major seasonal weakness through late 2013, the recent increase in the number of new porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) cases reportedly powered the late-week futures advance. This could presage surprisingly small hog supplies this winter. December hog futures jumped 0.82 cents to 90.42 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while April climbed 0.87 cents to 93.80 cents/pound.

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