Position squaring seemed to dominate ag markets Friday morning

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Corn futures seemingly resumed their downtrend Friday morning. The market bounced from oversold conditions Thursday, but has subsequently declined. Favorable growing weather promises a huge fall harvest, thereby making grain much cheaper. However, traders are probably squaring positions ahead of next Monday’s USDA crop reports, which may presage choppy trading within the recent range. September corn dropped 4.5 cents at $4.69/bushel by late Friday morning, while December dipped 4.75 cents to $4.55.

The soy complex were mixed around midsession Friday. After sustaining its Thursday bounce overnight, the soy complex gave back those gains during the morning hours. The rebound probably reflected short-covering in oversold conditions. Conversely, short-term action seems likely to be confused as traders even up their positions ahead of Monday’s USDA reports. September soybeans fell 6.25 cents to $12.215/bushel just before midday Friday, while November beans sagged 2.25 to $11.82. September soyoil edged down 0.11 cents to 41.64 cents/pound, while September soymeal lost $2.5 to $390.1/ton.

The wheat markets were also confused in Friday morning action. Wheat futures followed soybeans higher early Friday morning, but turned generally lower as Friday passed. Recent pessimism about international demand for U.S. wheat probably undercut winter wheat values, whereas concerns about the spring wheat crop seemed to support the Minneapolis market. September CBOT wheat sank 6.0 cents to $6.3525/bushel around midsession Friday, while September KCBT wheat sagged 3.25 cents to $6.9875, whereas September MGE futures lifted 0.75 cents to $7.3425.

Cattle futures recoiled from Thursday’s highs Friday morning. 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 0.42 cents to 126.65 cents/pound around lunchtime Friday, while December stumbled 0.25 cents to 128.62. September feeder cattle futures lost 0.32 cents to 157.50 cents/pound, and November sank 0.62 cents to 160.07.

Lean hog also turned in early Friday trading. Yesterday’s cattle news supported swine and seemed to exaggerate recent cash and wholesale-based optimism. However, the latest data indicated country values and pork cutout had fallen substantially Thursday afternoon. The large drop suffered by pork bellies seemed particularly ominous. October hog futures tumbled 0.42 cents to 84.82 as midday loomed Friday, while December slumped 0.35 cents to 81.80.



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