Talk of improved Chinese DDG interest may be boosting corn. The March CBOT contract surged past the $4.00/bushel level last night and remains quite strong at midsession. Technical and pragmatic buying probably played a role, but an overnight report suggesting China will be less diligent in restricting DDG imports from the U.S. may have sparked the move. March corn futures rallied 6.0 cents to $4.045/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while July surged 6.0 to $4.185.
Profit taking seemed to hit the soy complex Friday morning. It’s pretty clear that the ag industry believes outstanding demand for soybeans and products will support prices going forward. However, bean and meal prices set back from overnight highs this morning, whereas soyoil firmed despite fresh crude oil losses. Those developments suggest traders were squaring positions ahead of the weekend. January soybean futures sagged 4.25 cents to $10.38/bushel late Friday morning, while January soyoil was slid 0.09 to 31.93 cents/pound, and January meal lost $4.2 to $367.3/ton.
The wheat markets continued their early surge. The global wheat market remains very well supplied, but traders apparently worry that 2015 conditions will be less liquid. Fresh talk of Russian export restrictions apparently contributed to Thursday’s late advance and is probably encouraging buying again today. Concurrent corn gains are likely playing a bullish role as well. March CBOT wheat leapt 11.5 cents to $6.09/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while March KC wheat vaulted 11.0 cents to $6.385/bushel and March MWE wheat ran up 7.5 to $6.2275.
Bears may be reducing cattle positions before the weekend. News of sizeable cash and wholesale losses exerted fresh downward pressure upon cattle futures this morning. However, the nearby contracts staged a big comeback, with the most-active February contract bouncing from 160.70 to around 163.00 in late-morning action. No obviously bullish news emerged, which suggests short position holders were taking profits before the weekend. February live cattle rose 0.12 cents to 162.70 cents/pound at midsession Friday, while April slipped 0.20 to 161.90. January and March feeder cattle futures plunged the 3.00-cent daily limit to 225.60 and 221.25 cents/pound, respectively.
The hog and pork complex continue struggling. Wire service reports indicate cash hog prices were weak to sharply lower this morning, but pork cutouts actually posted a sizeable morning bounce. The latter development and the concurrent CME cattle bounce may explain the limited nature of Chicago hog losses this morning. February hog futures gained 0.17 cents to 84.52 cents/pound, while June hogs skidded 0.12 cents to 91.72.