Ag markets generally rose Thursday night

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After declining on Thursday, corn futures rebounded modestly Friday morning. Persistent old crop tightness probably supported the nearby July future, whereas growing concern about the ability of many Corn Belt farmers to finish spring plantings in a timely fashion boosted the deferred contracts. Delays from this point imply diminished yields and/or acreage shifts to soybeans. July corn rose 3.25 cents to $6.575/bushel early Friday, while December gained 1.75 cents to $5.645.

The general domestic shortage apparently sparked fresh buying of old crop soybeans in early Friday trading. New crop futures also advanced, which seemed to reflect fresh worries about the pace of new crop plantings. That is, while many now expect corn acreage to be forced into beans, the laggardly pace seems likely to cut yield prospects rather significantly. July soybean futures surged 14.25 cents to $15.10/bushel early Friday morning, while July soyoil bounced 0.14 cents to 48.72 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $5.4 to $446.2/ton.

Wheat futures dipped Thursday as traders reacted to the controversy over news that prohibited GMO wheat had been found growing in the Pacific Northwest. South Korean millers joined Japan in banning U.S. wheat overnight, while others took a more measured approach. Still, the prospect of curtailed exports weighed upon futures again Friday morning. July CBOT wheat futures lost 2.75 cents to $6.96/bushel in early Friday electronic action, while July KCBT wheat skidded 2.5 cents to $7.435, and July MGE futures slipped 5.25 cents to $8.1025.

Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Thursday, possibly in anticipation of cash weakness today. In fact, that may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Wholesale slippage indicated later in the day seemed rather bearish as well, but CME price actually bounced somewhat overnight. Producers may stick to higher asking prices with packers enjoying considerable profits and likely needing cattle. June cattle rose 0.22 cents to 120.57 cents/pound as the sun rose over Chicago Friday morning, while December increased 0.20 to 125.17. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slid 0.15 cents to 144.02 cents/pound, and November sank 0.25 cents to 149.10.

The bullish swine futures response to news of a planned Smithfield Foods takeover by a large Chinese firm continued Thursday night. Of course, late afternoon reports indicating cash and wholesale strength probably supported CME hog futures as well. However, nearby futures may now be facing significant technical resistance around their Thursday highs. June hog futures edged up 0.20 cents to 95.52 cents/pound in early Friday electronic action, while December gained 0.15 cents to 80.82.

Cotton futures continued their recent breakdown Thursday, with wire service reports citing long liquidation for significant losses on a day when equities rose and the dollar declined. That seemingly bodes ill for the short-term outlook, but technical considerations may come into play during the days just ahead, since July futures bounced slightly from the 80-cent level. That may spark a short-covering bounce before the weekend. July cotton futures rallied 0.12 cents to 80.25 cents/pound in early Friday trading, while December added 0.07 cents to 82.90.



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