Position squaring seemed to affect crop markets before the weekend. Corn futures dipped overnight and bounced only temporarily in response to the supportive USDA outlook data for the 2015/16 crop year and a strong result on the weekly USDA Export Sales report. The subsequent reversal probably represented a combination of technical selling and long-liquidation before the weekend. March corn settled 4.5 cents lower at $3.8525/bushel Friday, while July lost 4.75 to $4.005.
Soy meal couldn’t buck Friday’s bearish trend. Despite the fact that today’s Export Sales numbers looked supportive of beans and meal, neither could resist the widespread selling experienced Friday. The soyoil market remained under pressure with crude oil futures crumbling. Traders apparently found the USDA predictions for the 2015/16 crop year discouraging, as well. March soybean futures dropped 8.0 cents to $9.9925/bushel in late Friday trading and March soyoil fell 0.35 cents to 31.48 cents/pound, while March meal settled unchanged at $347.5/ton.
The wheat markets also turned lower Friday. Wheat futures have recently found support spilling over from the corn and soybean markets, but dropped substantially to end the week. The global glut, comparatively high domestic prices and the USDA’s bearish 2015/16 projections also seemed to send prices lower. The lack of offers on a Moroccan tender didn’t help either. March CBOT wheat tumbled 17.5 cents to $5.1025/bushel at Friday’s close, while March KC wheat slumped 11.25 to $5.3325/bushel, and March MWE wheat dipped 7.25 to $5.6675.
Country cattle prices disappointed CME traders. Cattle futures seemed to be lagging supportive spot market developments earlier this week, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see them turn sharply lower today in apparent response to news of Nebraska trading $1.00-$2.00 lower than last week. The industry is clearly worried about demand strength. April cattle futures plummeted 2.97 cents to 148.52 cents/pound at their Friday CME close, while August cattle dove 1.87 cents to 140.80 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures plunged 3.37 cents to 199.17 cents/pound and May feeders tanked 3.07 to 197.82.
Hog futures posted a decidedly mixed close. CME hog prices rallied early Friday morning in response to afternoon reports of sizeable Thursday cash gains. They lost upward momentum at moving average resistance, then bounced on reports indicating a port labor contract had been reached. Subsequent denials of those reports undercut prices later. Traders likely expect a big spring rebound, but think huge supplies will swamp the market in the second half. April hog futures ended Friday having rallied 0.35 cents to 67.40 cents/pound Friday, while June hogs gained 0.27 to 81.72.