Financial market action is again depressing commodities. Fresh concerns about the stability of European Monetary Union sent the dollar higher again this morning, while big energy losses triggered big stock market losses. Those developments also seem to hold negative economic portents, which probably exaggerated selling across the commodity sector. Corn certainly wasn’t immune. May corn futures fell 6.25 cents to $3.8225/bushel late Friday morning, while December lost 5.0 to $4.0675.
Talk of surging South American supplies added to Friday morning soy losses. In contrast to overnight grain strength, talk of Brazilian harvest progress weighed on soybeans and meal overnight. Thus, it was terribly surprising to see them lead the crop markets lower as the financial markets triggered commodity selling this morning. Oil proved surprisingly firm last night, but couldn’t avoid the bearish spillover. May soybean futures dove 15.0 cents to $9.755/bushel around midsession Friday, while May soyoil dropped 0.40 cents to 30.47 cents/pound, and May meal sank $4.2 to $327.4/ton.
The wheat markets couldn’t sustain weather driven gains. Talk of potential weather problems for the U.S. winter wheat crops boosted those markets again overnight. However, bullish couldn’t sustain those gains in the face of the broad stock and commodity decline experienced this morning. May CBOT wheat slumped 6.25 cents to $5.01/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while May KC wheat dipped 6.75 cents to $5.5975/bushel, and May MWE wheat slipped 2.0 to $5.675.
Cattle futures couldn’t buck the bearish Friday morning trend. Cash cattle prices rose last week and producers reportedly passed on steady bids this morning, thereby seeming to confirm mid-week expectations for cash gains. However, CME futures continued struggling, with today’s financial market developments apparently further exacerbating demand concerns triggered by this week’s news of export bans based on the latest ‘bird flu’ outbreak. April cattle futures drooped 1.05 cents to 154.75 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, while August cattle declined 0.65 cents to 143.97 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures plunged 1.75 cents to 211.15 cents/pound, and August feeders plummeted 1.57 to 211.10.
The financial market action is exaggerating demand pork demand fears. The hog and pork industry certainly appears to be facing weak demand at this point, especially when current conditions are compared to those seen at this same time last year. Export issues, cold weather and now bird flu and economic concerns are adding to the pressure. April hog futures fell 0.65 cents to 61.65 cents/pound just before lunchtime Friday, while June hogs tumbled 1.10 to 74.67.
Cotton futures reacted poorly to the prospect of weak demand. The cotton market seemed set to end the week on a firm note after nearby futures bounced from support around the pivotal 60-cent level at midweek. However, the negative demand implications of the surging dollar and tumbling equities dragged fiber values lower as well this morning. May cotton sagged 0.60 cents to 60.629 cents/pound shortly before noon (EDT) Friday, while December futures slid 0.57 to 62.66.