Traders seem to be squaring positions before the weekend. Corn followed wheat higher again Thursday night despite less than bullishly conducive growing conditions across the Midwest. That may partially explain this morning’s yellow grain reversal. We also suspect widespread position squaring before the weekend, as well as technical selling, played roles in the slide. July corn futures declined 3.5 cents to $3.645/bushel late Friday morning, while December slumped 3.25 to $3.815.
The soy complex proved generally weak Friday morning. Soybean futures rallied in concert with the grain markets overnight, but bulls couldn’t sustain the advance. As in the grain, pits traders didn’t seem very interested in pushing prices higher before the weekend. Indeed, talk that Monday’s weekly Crop Progress report will reflect a torrid planting pace seemed to weigh on prices as the morning passed. July soybean futures dropped 6.0 cents to $9.51/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while July soyoil sank 0.37 cents to 32.97 cents/pound, but July meal rose $0.2 to $302.4/ton.
The wheat markets traded steady-weak Friday morning. 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 this morning. We suspect traders were more interesting in squaring positions than in pushing for more before the weekend. July CBOT wheat futures fell 6.5 cents to $5.0775/bushel in late Friday morning action, while July KC wheat slid 3.25 cents to $5.40/bushel, and July MWE wheat lost 4.5 to $5.62.
Packer moves seemed to spark CME cattle losses Friday morning. 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 midsession. June live cattle futures plunged 1.55 cents to 152.25 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while August cattle tumbled 1.47 to 150.60. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures fell 0.90 cents to 218.05 cents/pound, and November feeders tumbled 1.15 to 215.15.
Technical selling probably exaggerated CME hogs losses. 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. June hog futures dove 1.20 cents to 83.45 cents/pound around midsession Friday, while December stumbled 0.67 lower to 69.00.