Several bullish rumors seemed to boost corn Friday. The March CBOT contract surged past the $4.00/bushel level Thursday night and remained quite through the day. An overnight report suggesting China will be less diligent in restricting DDG imports from the U.S., talk that Monday’s FSA data had been released early (and was bullish for corn), as well as an afternoon Syngenta statement indicating they expect China to soon approve Viptera GMO corn all seemed price supportive. March corn futures closed 9.0 cents higher at $4.075/bushel Friday afternoon, while July surged 9.0 to $4.215.
Soybeans and oil finished the week on a firm note. It’s pretty clear that the ag industry believes outstanding demand for soybeans and products will support prices going forward. Beans and meal prices set back from overnight highs in early trade, whereas soyoil firmed despite fresh crude oil losses. Beans and oil posted significant gains at the close, but meal remained relatively weak. The apparent early release of FSA acreage data may have encouraged bulls as well. January soybean futures ended Friday having risen 5.0 cents to $10.4725/bushel, while January soyoil advanced 0.34 to 32.36 cents/pound, but January meal lost $4.5 to $367.0/ton.
The wheat markets continued their early surge. The global wheat market remains very well supplied, but traders apparently worry that 2015 conditions will be less liquid. Fresh talk of Russian export restrictions apparently contributed to Thursday’s late advance and probably encouraged buying again Friday. Concurrent corn gains are likely playing a bullish role as well. March CBOT wheat jumped 9.0 cents to $6.065/bushel at their Friday settlement, while March KC wheat climbed 6.75 cents to $6.3425/bushel and March MWE wheat moved up 5.5 to $6.2075.
Cattle futures posted a weak Friday close. News of sizeable cash and wholesale losses exerted fresh downward pressure upon cattle futures this morning. The nearby contracts staged a comeback around midsession, with the most-active February contract bouncing from 160.70 to around 163.00 at one point. However, bears dominated trading as the weekend loomed; traders rather obviously harbor serious doubts about the price outlook. February live cattle dipped 0.40 cents to 162.17 cents/pound at Friday’s CME close, while April slumped 0.70 to 161.40. January and March feeder cattle futures plunged the 3.00-cent daily limit to 225.60 and 221.25 cents/pound, respectively.
The hog and pork complex continued struggling. Wire service reports indicate cash hog prices were weak to sharply lower this morning, but pork cutouts actually posted a sizeable morning bounce. The late CME decline suggests cash quotes were weaker than earlier believed. Hog futures may remain under pressure until it becomes apparent that the cattle market has posted a seasonal low. February hog futures fell 1.10 cents to 83.25 cents/pound, while June hogs sank 0.70 cents to 91.15.
Chinese news may have encouraged cotton market bulls Friday. Thursday’s export sales data was supportive and probably emboldened bulls already encouraged by Wednesday’s USDA cut in the U.S. cotton production estimate. Overnight news that Chinese officials will leave their cotton import quota unchanged may also have spurred buying. March cotton futures settled up 0.06 cents to 60.54 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while the July contract rose 0.12 to 61.78.