Traders evening up positions ahead of the weekend Friday

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Corn futures performed well early this week, especially in the wake of the bearish Crop Progress report released Monday afternoon. Thus, it was not terribly surprising to see prices dip Friday morning, since lots of traders are probably moving to the sidelines over the long holiday weekend. Talk of accelerated plantings and equity market weakness may also have weighed upon prices. July corn slipped 2.0 cents to $6.60/bushel Friday morning; December also fell 2.0 cents to $5.3275.

Soybean futures were mixed Friday morning, with sliding July values reflecting the cash market impact (i.e. reduced demand and active producer sales) of the recent spike. Conversely, gains by the new crop contracts seemed to represent a reaction to the potential for slower plantings later this month. July soybean futures dove 20.0 cents to $14.795/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil dipped 0.28 cents to 49.38 cents/pound, and July soybean meal edged $3.5 lower to $433.5/ton.

Wheat futures were probably ripe for pre-holiday profit taking Friday after having surged Wednesday and Thursday. Traders are simply less willing to hold onto positions ahead of a three-day weekend. That seems especially true with the equity markets under substantial pressure as well. July CBOT wheat futures declined 4.5 cents to $6.9875/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while July KCBT wheat sank 5.75 cents to $7.4875, and July MGE futures slid 5.25 cent to $8.08.

After closing quite poorly Thursday, cattle futures bounced modestly Friday morning. Given the size of recent losses and their discounts to cash values, a pre-holiday bounce in the Chicago market was not terribly surprising. Bears have been anticipating a beef price reversal from record highs in the near future, but they are probably wary of the potential for early-June strength. June cattle gained 0.40 cents to 119.52 cents/pound just before noon Friday, while December added 0.32 to 124.00. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures rebounded 0.67 cents to 143.32 cents/pound, while November rose 0.47 to 148.65.

Hog futures appeared ready to resume their spring advance Friday after dipping Thursday. That was rather surprising when late-Thursday cash and wholesale weakness was considered. However, the midsession pork report indicated substantial gains, which almost surely encouraged bulls. June hog futures climbed 0.40 cents to 94.60 cents/pound in Friday morning action, while the December contract rose 0.30 cents to 79.70.

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