Fine planting weather depressed corn futures again Friday. One might blame a portion of Friday’s corn weakness on the rebounding U.S. dollar, but resurgent equity indexes seemingly made that less likely. It’s much more probable that forecasts continually pointing to conditions conducive to rapid corn planting and a good emergence during early May undercut the crop markets. July corn futures dropped 3.25 cents to $3.63/bushel at Friday’s close, while December lost 3.25 to $3.8025.
The soy complex turned generally lower Friday afternoon. Various factors supported soyoil futures through much of Friday’s session, but those contracts ultimately followed beans and meal lower. Ideas that surging planting rates across the country will boost fall production prospects seemed to drag the whole complex lower. Nearby soybean futures’ poor late-week technical performance also seemed to spur selling. July soybean futures fell 11.25 cents and ended the week at $5.6475/bushel, while July soyoil edged 0.07 cents lower to 31.58 cents/pound, and July meal slumped $4.2 to $311.9/ton.
Wheat futures ended the week on a mixed note. Little fresh news concerning wheat emerged before the weekend, so traders were apparently focusing upon weather forecasts favorable for spring wheat planting and winter wheat growth, although the late Kansas City bounce suggests southern Plains forecasts turned somewhat drier. The latter development might explain the late Chicago comeback as well. July CBOT wheat futures ended Friday unchanged at $4.74/bushel, while July KC wheat gained 1.5 cents to $5.005/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 3.5 to $5.345.
Cash strength helped cattle futures stabilize. Anticipation of a significant cash market decline this week sparked midweek losses in live cattle futures. However, wire service reports indicated a $1-$2/cwt rise in country prices Friday morning. That almost surely caused Chicago prices to firm. However, the fact that futures did not rise more substantially suggested underlying weakness. June live cattle futures stumbled 0.52 cents lower to 149.17 cents/pound at Friday’s CME settlement, while August cattle slid 0.27 to 147.82. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures rebounded 0.65 cents to 213.62 cents/pound, and August feeders rose 0.37 to 215.07.
Bullish hog traders probably took profits. Cash hog and wholesale pork markets apparently continued their recent surge Friday, but futures continued struggling after being undercut by the mid-week cattle breakdown. Given the size of the premiums already built into nearby futures, pre=weekend profit-taking was understandable. June hog futures dipped 0.17 cents to 81.25 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December rallied 0.65 to 69.30.