Ag markets finished the week mostly higher

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Harvest pressure seemingly weighed upon corn futures Friday. Although the wheat and soybean complexes moved modestly higher Friday, bullish corn traders proved unable to follow suit. That probably reflected weakening country prices as the Corn Belt harvest accelerates. December corn slid 2.75 cents to $4.54/bushel at Friday’s settlement, and May lost 3.0 cents to $4.745.

The soy complex posted a mixed close as the weekend loomed. Despite the onset of the U.S. harvest and the resulting price pressure exerted upon country markets, CBOT prices rose modestly in early trading. Talk of persistently strong demand from domestic and export markets probably supported the nearby bean and meal contracts, whereas the oil market likely suffered from being on the wrong side of crush spreads. November soybeans rallied 3.0 cents to $13.1975/bushel late Friday afternoon, while October soyoil fell 0.28 cents to 41.51 cents/pound, and October soymeal added $3.5 to $419.9/ton.

Rumored export demand also supported wheat prices before the weekend. The wheat markets performed well this week, due largely to talk of strong export demand and problems with Argentina’s winter crop. Rumors of buying from China and Brazil reportedly played a big role in Friday’s firm close as well. December CBOT wheat settled 4.75 cents higher at $6.83/bushel Friday afternoon, while December KCBT wheat ascended 4.5 cents to $7.3175, and December MGE futures surged 7.0 cents to $7.315.

Cattle futures rallied rather significantly Friday. Bullish CME traders may simply have been expecting steady-firm cash trading this afternoon, which would easily explain the Chicago gains. They may also have been anticipating spillover strength from a bullish Hogs & Pigs report later in the day. October cattle futures ran up 0.55 cents to 128.25 cents/pound at Friday’s close, while December rallied 0.50 cents to 132.07. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle edged inched 0.12 cents lower to 164.12 cents/pound, and January sagged 0.20 to 163.85.

Hogs futures posted moderate Friday gains. Hog traders were almost surely looking forward to the Friday afternoon release of the quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report (at 2:00 PM CDT). There was a great deal of uncertainty about its likely contents, but bullish expectations concerning fall and winter hog supplies very likely played a big role in the CME advance. October hog futures lifted 0.12 cents to 92.92 cents/pound as the week’s trading wound down, while December climbed 0.40 cents to 88.12.

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