USDA reports roiled ag markets Friday morning

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The USDA reports sent corn futures tumbling late Friday morning. The Ag department stated corn plantings at 97.38 million acres, well above forecasts. The resulting price drop was mitigated by the Grain Stocks report, which stated June 1 corn inventories modestly below expectations. September corn futures plunged 21.25 cents to $5.51/bushel just after the reports were released Friday, while December plummeted 25.0 cents to $5.135.

The big post-report corn losses weighed upon soybeans as well. Soybean futures had declined prior to the Friday morning USDA reports. However, the soybean data actually seemed supportive of soy outlook, since both planted acreage and inventories came in slightly below average pre-report forecasts. The expiring July bean and meal contracts held up well, but selling spilling over from the corn market apparently dragged the soy complex downward. August soybean futures slid 3.5 cents to $14.29/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while August soyoil fell 0.57 cents to 45.78 cents/pound, whereas the August meal contract edged $0.8 higher to $436.0/ton.

Wheat futures also reacted poorly to the USDA reports. The reason for the losses, aside from the concurrent corn breakdown, was rather obvious, since the USDA also stated wheat acreage well above expectations. Bulls got some support from the June 1 stocks total, but that was not nearly offset the implied increase in the summer-fall harvest. Actually, the spring wheat average result fell slightly below the average of predictions, which limited the Minneapolis decline. September CBOT wheat tumbled 13.25 cents to $6.605/bushel around midsession Friday, while September KCBT wheat dropped 7.25 cents to $6.9475, while September MGE futures slipped just 0.5 cent to $7.825.

Cattle futures gave back recent gains Friday morning. Traders have recently suspected cattle prices were near their 2013 lows, but renewed concerns about the strength of summer beef demand ,especially after Independence Day, apparently dominated trading today. The equity market setback and ongoing dollar rally may also have hurt. August cattle fell 0.72 cents to 122.20 cents/pound in early Friday action, while December sank 0.52 cents at 127.62. In contrast, feeder futures rallied in response to the report driven corn breakdown. August feeders climbed 0.70 cents to 150.40 cents/pound, while November advanced 0.52 cents to 155.20.

Hog futures turned decisively lower in early Friday trading. Morning reports of cash weakness probably reinforced pessimism created by the Thursday afternoon pork reversal. Traders are apparently much more concerned about the summer outlook at this juncture. August hog futures dove 1.60 cents to 97.80 cents/pound late Friday morning, while the December contract plunged 1.65 to 82.05.

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