Weather news has apparently retaken center stage in the grain and soy complexes at this point. For example, concerns that forecast rains over fields that are already too wet for planting boosted corn futures Friday morning. The delay in getting seeds into the ground could lower yield prospects and/or cause acreage to shift into soybeans. The results of the weekly USDA Export Sales report were well anticipated. July corn surged 7.5 cents to $6.6175/bushel Friday morning, while December advanced 5.5 cents to $5.6825.
Despite the widespread belief that the slow planting pace will force significant acreage from corn to soybeans, the legume market led the way higher Friday morning. Ultimately, that reflects the belief that the delays will also diminish fall yield potential as well. Ideas that old crop supplies will become extremely tight by early summer seemed to boost July futures, whereas the Export Sales report appeared supportive of new crop values. July soybean futures jumped 20.25 cents to $15.16/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil rose 0.10 cents to 48.68 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $7.4 to $448.2/ton.
Wheat futures dipped again in early trading as the market tried to anticipate the real world impact, if any, of the news that prohibited GMO wheat had been found growing in the Pacific Northwest. The late-morning comeback suggests it will have little lasting influence over prices. Meanwhile, anticipated problems in getting the spring wheat crop planted in a timely manner appeared to boost the Minneapolis market. July CBOT wheat futures gained 0.25 cents to $6.99/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while July KCBT wheat inched up 1.0 cents to $7.47, and July MGE futures leapt 8.25 cents to $8.2375.
The decline suffered by CME live cattle futures Thursday seemingly presaged a fresh bout of cash weakness today. However, producers are proving stubborn in the knowledge that recent wholesale strength has boosted packer margins well into the black. Thus, Friday morning futures strength may reflect renewed optimism about the short-term cash outlook. June cattle rose 0.37 cents to 120.72 cents/pound around midday Friday, while December added 0.35 to 125.32. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slid 0.05 cents to 144.12 cents/pound, and November sank 0.17 cents to 149.17
The bullish swine futures response to news of a planned Smithfield Foods takeover by a large Chinese firm continued early Friday morning. Late Thursday reports indicating cash and wholesale strength probably supported CME hog futures as well. However, mixed trading later in the morning suggests traders were feeling much less optimistic about 2013 price prospects than earlier in the week. June hog futures skidded 0.25 cents to 95.07 cents/pound just before the lunch hour Friday, while December was steady at 80.67.