Grain markets close higher on Midwest drought

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Corn futures closed 9 to 11 cents higher on Friday. Corn prices bounced up and down most of today’s trading session. Prices started out higher in the overnight session and turned lower by midday only to close higher by the end of trade. Prices continue to see support from the worst drought the Midwest has experienced in over 20 years. Updated weather forecasts are predicting hot temperatures and minimal rains over the next 7 to 10 days. Due to recent weeks of excessive heat, new crop corn (along with soybeans) condition ratings have quickly deteriorated increasing traders fears that new crop corn will be in short supply.

Soybean futures closed 22 to 25 cents higher on Friday. Firm export demand and weather worries pushed the market to a higher close. Export sales of 150,200 metrics tonnes of soybeans to undisclosed locations for 2011/12 and 2012/13 marketing years supported new crop contracts. Traders continue to eye weather forecasts across the Midwest as the trade prepares for Monday’s crop progress report, which will indicate whether further damage to new crop beans has occurred. Weather conditions across the Midwest remain unchanged as forecasters predict minimal rain over the region for the next 7 to 10 days.

Wheat futures closed higher on Friday. Trade closed 1 to 2 cents higher in Chicago, 4 cents higher in Kansas City, and 4 to 7 cents higher in Minneapolis. Market prices climbed higher as wheat production in the Black Sea Region continues to struggle. News that cold weather worries in Australia, the world’s fourth largest wheat exporter, may threaten global wheat stocks added strength to prices as well. However, futures prices did experience slight declines at midday as corn prices ebbed lower, but were able to rally to a strong close.

Cattle futures closed lower on Friday. Market prices could not recover losses dictated by declining boxed beef prices. Midday boxed beef prices were reported lower for both choice and select cuts. Choice was down a whopping $2. 47 ($183.56) while select posted minimal losses of 13 cents (173.29). Most cash trade wrapped up on Thursday with dressed prices in the South $2.00 lower and almost $5.00 lower in the North. Lackluster beef demand along with higher production costs remain bearish factors for market prices.

Lean hog futures closed moderately lower on Friday. Pork prices crashed on weakness in the cash market and trader concern over waning pork demand. USDA reported average cash prices on Thursday down approximately $2.50 per cwt. Steadily declining pork cutouts and rising production costs weighed on futures prices as well.



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