Corn seemed to follow the other crop markets higher Friday. Corn traders lacked news pertinent news this week, so it was hardly surprising to see traders take their lead from strike-driven soybean and weather-driven wheat rallies. Wire service reports also cited short-covering for boosting prices before the weekend. March corn futures rallied 4.5 cents to $3.845/bushel at Friday’s CBOT close, while July added 4.75 to $4.0125.
The Brazilian situation continued supporting the soy complex. Brazil’s trucker strike over taxes and fuel costs reportedly spread far and wide late this week. The blockage of numerous roads is apparently keeping beans from flowing from farms to ports and fuel from moving the opposite direction. Their farmers have limited capacity for storing beans, and have to worry that exposed legumes will prove vulnerable as their autumn approaches. March soybean futures ended Friday having climbed 6.75 cents to $10.3075/bushel, while March soyoil soared 0.96 cents to 32.80 cents/pound, but March meal dipped $0.9 to $353.7/ton.
The wheat markets turned rallied strongly Friday. Gains in beans probably supported winter wheat futures Thursday night, but today’s gains apparently reflected concerns about forthcoming arctic temperatures and limited snow cover over many winter wheat areas. The Minneapolis market seemingly tagged along despite the poor summer-fall 2015 outlook. March CBOT wheat surged 14.25 cents to $5.175/bushel in week-ending action, while March KC wheat ran up 7.25 cents to $5.345/bushel, and March MWE wheat gained 4.75 to $5.56.
Cattle futures fluctuated widely Friday afternoon. Cattle futures had rallied strongly this week as beef prices surged. Stalled cutouts undercut prices Thursday afternoon and again Friday morning, but renewed strength seen at midday apparently spurred April buying. One has to wonder if traders were shifting long positions from the expiring (at noon) February contract into April, since Feb. dove and April surged. April cattle futures leapt 1.90 cents to 151.70 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while August cattle gained 0.25 cents to 142.05 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures jumped 1.60 cents to 201.90 cents/pound but May feeders slipped 0.05 to 198.87.
Rebounding pork values enabled CME hogs to firm. After surging sharply early this week, cash hog prices were called significantly lower this morning. Conversely, this week’s surprising pork breakdown seemed to end today. The wholesale weakness apparently undercut CME futures yesterday, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see the Chicago market firm today. April hog futures closed 0.32 cents higher at 67.47 cents/pound Friday, while June hogs rose 0.25 to 82.87.