Corn traded steady-higher into the weekend. Little fresh news concerning corn emerged Friday, but traders didn’t seem to be keying upon the outstanding start to the 2015 U.S. corn crop. That may have reflected the USDA’s monthly WASDE report scheduled for release next Tuesday, since that will hold the department’s first look at the 2015/16 outlook. We suspect position squaring supported prices. July corn futures settled 1.5 cents higher at $3.63/bushel Friday, while December added 1.25 to $3.7825.
The soy complex continued trading in mixed fashion. Traders also appeared to begin adjusting their soybean and product positions ahead of the May 12 WASDE report Friday. Still, talk of big weekend rainfall may have spurred a farmer shift to bean planting, as well as improving productive potential. Crude oil strength once again supported soyoil. July soybean futures ended Friday having risen 1.25 cents to $9.7625/bushel, while July soyoil ran up 0.47 cents to 32.96 cents/pound, but July meal slipped $1.0 to $313.4/ton.
Crop tour results and storm fears reportedly powered Friday’s wheat gains. The result of Wheat Quality Council’s annual wheat tour came in below industry expectations, thereby seeming to boost futures this morning. Talk of big weekend storms and potential damage to standing wheat was also reported to be spurring some buying. July CBOT wheat futures advanced 8.75 cents to $4.815/bushel at Friday’s settlement, while July KC wheat rallied 8.75 cents to $5.085/bushel, and July MWE wheat surged 10.25 to $5.41.
Fresh cash optimism reportedly boosted cattle futures Friday. CME cattle struggled through midweek, with the usual lack of cash news seeming to limit CME action to range trading. However, late-week beef gains apparently increased the chances that beef packers would pay up for cattle before the weekend. Futures surged in response. June live cattle futures soared 2.12 cents to 151.50 cents/pound at Friday’s CME close, while August cattle leapt 1.55 to 149.82. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures vaulted 0.82 cents to 217.62 cents/pound, and November feeders rose 0.17 to 215.10.
Hog futures followed cattle higher Friday afternoon. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets have rallied strongly lately, but Friday morning reports were much less supportive of CME futures. Those quotes, as well as pivotal chart resistance around 84.00 cents limited early gains. However, surging cattle futures and traders suspicions that afternoon spot reports would be much stronger seemingly spurred Friday’s bullish breakout. June hog futures jumped 1.33 cents to 88.82 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December moved up 0.22 to 70.52.
Surging equities likely caused spillover cotton gains. The equity markets turned sharply higher Friday morning, with the underlying implication of future economic strength also seeming to spark buying in the ICE cotton pit. Conversely, the good rainfall being received by the southern Plains at this point is probably improving production prospects for cotton in that region, which may have limited the rally. July cotton climbed 0.63 cents to 66.16 as Friday’s ICE session ended, while December futures lifted 0.51 to 65.94.