Ag markets ended Friday on a weak note

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Corn futures seemingly resumed their downtrend Friday. The market bounced from oversold conditions Thursday, but turned downward once again, with the promise of favorable growing weather and a huge fall harvest dragging prices lower. Traders were probably squaring positions ahead of next Monday’s USDA crop reports, and will probably do more of the same over the weekend. September corn dropped 7.75 cents to $4.645/bushel by its Friday close, while December dipped 6.5 cents to $4.5325.

The soy complex also ended the week poorly. After sustaining its Thursday bounce overnight, the soy complex moved lower in Friday action. The fact that nearby futures proved weakest suggests the tight old crop situation was not a factor Friday afternoon. Still, short-term action seems likely to be confused as traders even up their positions ahead of Monday’s USDA reports. September soybeans fell 9.25 cents to $12.185/bushel as trading wound Friday, while November beans slipped just 2.0 to $11.8225. September soyoil tumbled 0.25 cents to 41.50 cents/pound, while September soymeal lost $2.0 to $390.6/ton.

The wheat markets also declined Friday. Wheat futures followed soybeans higher in early trading, but turned lower as the day passed. Recent pessimism about international demand for U.S. wheat probably undercut winter wheat values, whereas concerns about the spring wheat crop seemed to limit losses at the Minneapolis market. September CBOT wheat closed 7.75 cents lower at $6.335/bushel Friday afternoon, while September KCBT wheat sagged 4.75 cents to $6.9725, and September MGE futures skidded 1.5 cents to $7.32.

Cattle futures recoiled from Thursday’s highs Friday. News that Tyson will not accept slaughter cattle fed the feed additive Zilmax after September 6 sent cattle prices higher Thursday, but Cargill’s (Excel) refusal to go along seemingly undercut the response Friday. Slipping choice cutout values didn’t help the bullish cause. October cattle slid 0.20 cents to 126.87 cents/pound at Friday’s settlement, while December ended the week 0.07 cents lower at 128.80. September feeder cattle futures lost 0.35 cents to 157.47 cents/pound, and November sank 0.33 cents to 160.37.

Lean hog futures also turned downward Friday. Thursday’s cattle news supported swine values and seemed to exaggerate recent cash and wholesale-based optimism. However, the late-week data indicated country values and pork cutout had fallen substantially. The large drop suffered by pork bellies seemed particularly ominous. October hog futures tumbled 0.27 cents to 84.97 at its Friday close, while December slumped 0.10 cents to 82.05.



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