Corn traders seemed square positions before the weekend. Corn followed wheat higher again Thursday night despite good growing conditions across the Midwest. That may partially explain the Friday morning yellow grain reversal. Widespread position squaring before the weekend, as well as technical selling, probably played roles in the slide. July corn futures declined 2.5 cents to $3.655/bushel at Friday’s close, while December dipped 2.0 to $3.8275.
The soy complex proved generally weak Friday. Soybean futures rallied in concert with the grain markets overnight, but bulls couldn’t sustain the advance. Talk that Monday’s weekly Crop Progress report will reflect a torrid planting pace seemed to weigh on prices, with traders seemingly ignoring an impressive NOPA Crush result. July soybean futures closed down 3.75 cents to $9.5325/bushel Friday, while July soyoil sank 0.27 cents to 33.07 cents/pound, but July meal rose $1.1 to $303.3/ton.
The wheat markets sagged as Friday passed. The current storm pattern implies excessive rainfall may dominate the Winter Wheat Belt in the short-term, while the emerging El Nino threatens forthcoming Australian production. Thursday’s upsurge reflected those concerns, but bulls proved unable to sustain a bullish follow-through Friday morning. We suspect traders were more interested in squaring positions than in pushing for bigger gains before the weekend. July CBOT wheat futures fell 3.25 cents to $5.11/bushel in late Friday action, while July KC wheat slid 1.5 cents to $5.4175/bushel, and July MWE wheat lost 5.25 to $5.61.
Packer moves seemed to spark Friday’s CME cattle losses. Beef packers reportedly lowered their bids for country cattle this morning and apparently took significantly less for wholesale beef as well. Talk of those developments apparently triggered active selling upon today’s opening, with CME futures remaining under pressure through the day. June live cattle futures ended Friday having dropped 1.27 cents to 152.52 cents/pound, while August cattle tumbled 1.27 to 150.80. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures sank 0.55 cents to 218.40 cents/pound, and November feeders lost 0.75 to 215.55.
Hog futures bounced from midmorning lows. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets have shown signs of weakness in the last few days, with nearby futures proving unable to follow through significantly upon their early-week advance. Thus, today’s early drop wasn’t very surprising, especially after 10-day moving-average support failed. Conversely, bears couldn’t force the nearby June contract under solid support around 82.00 cents, which in turn seemed to trigger the late comeback. June hog futures stumbled 0.60 cents to 83.35 cents/pound at Friday’s CME settlement, while December bounced 0.27 to 69.95.