Financial market action depressed commodities again Friday. Fresh concerns about the stability of European Monetary Union sent the dollar higher again this morning, while big energy losses triggered sizeable 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 8.0 cents to $3.805/bushel in late Friday trading, while December lost 7.0 to $4.0475.
Talk of surging South American supplies added to Friday’s soy losses. In contrast to overnight grain strength, talk of Brazilian harvest progress weighed on soybeans and meal overnight. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see them lead the crop markets lower as the financial markets triggered commodity selling. Oil proved surprisingly firm Thursday night, but couldn’t avoid the bearish spillover. May soybean futures dove 16.5 cents to $9.74/bushel at Friday’s CBOT settlement, while May soyoil dropped 0.38 cents to 30.49 cents/pound, and May meal sank $4.6 to $327.0/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 Thursday night. However, bulls couldn’t sustain those gains in the face of the broad stock and commodity decline experienced Friday. May CBOT wheat ended Friday having slumped 5.25 cents to $5.02/bushel, while May KC wheat dipped 7.25 cents to $5.3925/bushel, and May MWE wheat slipped 2.0 to $5.675.
Flat cash trading spurred CME cattle selling. Cash cattle prices rose last week and Chicago traders anticipated another gain this week. Thus, early afternoon news of Kansas trading at unchanged levels sparked a fresh burst of selling. Worries about embargoed chicken swamping the domestic markets, as well as Friday’s financial market action exaggerated the following decline. April cattle futures dropped 1.52 cents to 154.27 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while August cattle declined 1.00 cent to 143.62 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures plunged 1.67 cents to 211.22 cents/pound, and August feeders plummeted 1.47 to 211.20.
Hog futures staged a late Friday comeback. Today’s financial market action exaggerated 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 last March. Export issues, cold weather and now bird flu and economic concerns added to the pressure. However, traders may suspect the selling was overdone, since they brought the market back around the close. April hog futures closed just 0.20 cents lower at 62.10 cents/pound Friday, while June hogs skidded 0.35 to 75.42.