Ag markets were generally mixed around midday Friday

Favorable weather is still weighing on grain futures around midday Friday. This week's rain will very likely get recently planted corn off to a good start. Next week's forecast sunshine will probably help as well, along with accelerating plantings in northern states. This week's technical action also favors bears. July corn slipped 1.0 cent to $4.8325/bushel late Friday morning, while December lost 1.0 cent to $4.795.

Trade news favored new crop soy futures Friday morning. Deferred CBOT soy futures outperformed their old-crop counterparts Thursday night and continued doing so this morning. News that an unknown buyer had purchased 180,000 tonnes of beans for 2014/15 delivery is apparently supporting new-crop prices. Oil is surprisingly weak after the announced sale of 40,000 tonnes for 2013/14 delivery to China. July soybeans edged down 1.0 cent to $14.6925/bushel around midsession Friday, while July soyoil sank 0.27 cents to 40.77 cents/pound, and July soymeal stalled at $481.4/ton.

Weather is apparently exerting fresh pressure on the wheat markets. News out of Ukraine is seemingly confirming worries about crop plantings there, but it did little to support wheat prices this morning. Forecasts for weather very favorable for the domestic crop appeared to trigger fresh selling Friday morning. July CBOT wheat futures dropped 5.25 cents to $6.73/bushel just before lunchtime, while July KCBT wheat futures fell 12.5 cents to $7.665, and July MWE futures plunged 15.5 to $7.395.

Cattle traders may be balancing positions ahead of the COF report. Cattle futures rose Friday morning despite Thursday's $2-$3/cwt cash losses. Bulls would probably point to concurrent wholesale firmness and discounts already built into CME futures, but traders may simply be evening up positions ahead of this afternoon's monthly Cattle on Feed report. June cattle advanced 0.17 cents to 137.57 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, while December rose 0.05 to 144.27. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle ran up 0.25 cents to 192.67 cents/pound, and October rose 0.17 cents to 193.50.

Pork slippage may be weighing on the nearby hog contracts. CME bulls are still anticipating a sizeable seasonal advance during late spring and summer, since June-August futures are trading at major premiums to spot values. However, the cash and wholesale markets continue struggling, with today's early pork weakness likely weighing on nearby futures. June hogs declined 0.30 cents to 119.12 cents/pound late Friday morning, but December rallied 0.55 cents to 94.42.


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