Soy complex continues leading the ag markets

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Corn still seems to be gathering support from beans. Conditions continue looking quite favorable for new-crop corn production, which has been putting pressure on CBOT prices. However, the oversold nature of Chicago futures at this point, as well as persistent strength spilling over from soybeans sparked modest gains last night. July corn rose 2.0 cents to $4.7875/bushel Thursday night, while December gained 1.5 cents to $4.75.

Old crop tightness is stilling boosting the soy complex. Thursday’s USDA Export Sales report stated 2013/14 bean and product sales above forecasts, thereby emphasizing current demand strength. Domestic supplies look rather inadequate, so prices are rising to ration demand. Traders also view the new-crop situation as bullish. July soybeans climbed 5.75 cents to $15.245/bushel in early Friday action, while July soyoil moved up 0.11 cents to 40.97 cents/pound, and July soymeal lifted $3.7 to $505.2/ton.

Short-covering and bean strength are likely spurring wheat gains. The wheat markets are still suffering from forecasts for a global glut in late 2014 and 2015. Talk that high-priced U.S. grain is being shunned by importers is also hurting domestic markets. However, prices rose modestly overnight, which probably reflected spillover bean strength and short-covering in the wake of recent losses. July CBOT wheat futures bounced 3.25 cents to $6.625/bushel shortly after dawn Friday, while July KCBT wheat rallied 2.25 cents to $7.54, and July MWE futures added 3.0 cents to $7.34.

Cash weakness is weighing on CME cattle futures. Although beef prices rose again Thursday, country cattle prices suffered another sizeable decline. That news, along with trader expectations for more of the same through early summer, depressed Chicago prices as well. June cattle slipped 0.27 cents to 137.32 cents/pound soon after sunrise Friday, while December slid 0.05 cents to 145.40. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle skidded 0.22 to 195.15 cents/pound, and October sank 0.32 cents to 196.17.

Cash and wholesale losses continue undercutting hog futures. After rallying strongly in response to good news Wednesday, CME lean hog futures have fallen sharply since that time. Sustained weakness in cash and wholesale values has almost surely caused the drop, since the summer contracts were trading at substantial premiums to spot quotes. June hog futures dove 1.20 cents to 116.40 cents/pound in early Friday action, while December tumbled 0.50 to 94.55.

Cotton remains under downward pressure Friday morning. Thursday’s Export Sales report looked quite bullish since the result easily topped bullish expectations. However, after soaring on the news, but cotton futures reversed to the downside once again. This seemingly bodes ill for the short-term price outlook, especially with Texas cotton acres expected to be blessed with major rains this weekend. July cotton fell 0.49 cents to 87.29 cents/pound early Friday morning, while December cotton lost 0.32 to 80.41.

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