Fine planting weather is still depressing corn futures. One might blame a portion of Friday’s early corn weakness on the rebounding U.S. dollar, but resurgent equity indexes seemingly make that less likely. It’s much more probable that forecasts continue pointing to conditions conducive to rapid corn planting and a good emergence during early May. July corn futures dropped 4.75 cents to $3.615/bushel around midsession Friday, while December lost 5.0 to $3.785.
Soyoil diverged from sliding bean and meal futures. The crude oil gains seen earlier this week, along with overnight palm oil strength, appear to be boosting soybean oil futures. Sources also suggest active unwinding of meal/oil crush spreads. Meanwhile, talking of surging plantings across the country is apparently weighing on the bean market. July soybean futures sank 9.75 cents to $5.6625/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while July soyoil edged up 0.09 cents to 31.74 cents/pound, and July meal slumped $4.6 to $311.5/ton.
Wheat futures also remained under pressure Friday morning. Little fresh news concerning wheat has emerged before the weekend, so traders are probably focusing upon weather forecasts favorable for both spring wheat planting and winter wheat growth. The latter development might explain the bearish new-crop leadership exhibited by Chicago futures. July CBOT wheat futures slid 3.75 cents to $4.7025/bushel late Friday morning, while July KC wheat slipped 2.5 cents to $4.965/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 3.25 to $5.3475.
Cash strength helped cattle futures stabilize. Anticipation of a significant cash market decline this week seemed to spark midweek losses in live cattle futures. However, wire service reports indicated a $1-$2/cwt rise in country prices this morning. That might easily have powered a big CME surge, whereas mixed midsession quotes probably reflected bearish spring-summer expectations. June live cattle futures skidded 0.07 cents to 149.62 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while August cattle edged 0.02 lower to 148.07. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures rebounded 0.57 cents to 213.55 cents/pound, and August feeders rose 0.12 to 214.82.
Bullish hog traders may be taking profits. Country markets continue signaling resurgent hog and pig prices as supplies seem to tighten on seasonal and cyclical bases. One has to suspect grocers are also stepping up their pork buying for Memorial Day features. However, hog futures traded weakly this morning. We suspect Thursday’s big setback and mixed live cattle action persuaded bulls to take some profits before the weekend. June hog futures dipped 0.10 cents to 81.32 cents/pound in late Friday morning trading, while December inched up 0.17 to 68.82.