Ag markets generally ended the week strongly

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Weather news apparently retook center stage in the grain and soy complexes late this week. For example, concerns that forecast rains over Corn Belt fields that are already too wet for planting boosted deferred corn futures Friday. The delay in getting seeds into the ground could lower yield prospects and/or cause acreage to shift into soybeans. The results of the weekly USDA Export Sales report were well anticipated. July corn surged 7.75 cents to $6.62/bushel at the Friday close, while December advanced 4.5 cents to $5.6725.

Despite the widespread belief that the slow planting pace will force significant acreage from corn into soybeans, the legume market led the way higher Friday. Ultimately, that reflects the belief that the delays will also diminish fall yield potential. Ideas that old crop supplies will become extremely tight by early summer seemed to boost July futures, whereas the Export Sales report appeared supportive of new crop values. July soybean futures jumped 14.25 cents to $15.10/bushel as trading would down for the week. An anticipated surge in the U.S. crush seemingly depressed July soyoil 0.15 cents to 48.38 cents/pound, while July soybean meal climbed $6.2 to $447.2/ton.

Wheat futures dipped again Friday morning as the market tried to anticipate the real world impact, if any, of the news that prohibited GMO wheat had been found growing in the Pacific Northwest. The subsequent rebound suggests it will have little lasting influence over prices. Meanwhile, anticipated problems in getting the spring wheat crop planted in a timely manner appeared to boost the Minneapolis market. July CBOT wheat futures gained 6.75 cents to $7.055/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while July KCBT wheat rose 5.0 cents to $7.51, and July MGE futures advanced 4.5 cents to $8.20.

The decline suffered by CME live cattle futures Thursday seemingly presaged a fresh bout of cash weakness, country markets Friday. Ongoing wholesale slippage was not helpful either. Nevertheless, stubborn held out for and got steady prices later in the day. That essentially reversed the Thursday CME slide. June cattle rallied 0.95 cents to 121.30 cents/pound at its Friday settlement, while December added 0.87 to 125.85. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures gained 0.15 cents to 144.32 cents/pound, and November edged 0.37 cents higher to 149.72

The bullish swine futures response to news of a planned Smithfield Foods takeover by a large Chinese firm continued Friday morning. Late Thursday reports indicating cash and wholesale strength probably supported CME hog futures as well. The supportive cash cattle news very likely provided additional upward momentum despite midday wholesale slippage. June hog futures settled up 0.30 cents to 95.62 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December rose 0.02 cents at 80.70.



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