Corn traders may be taking profits before the weekend. Corn futures have rallied strongly lately despite the record U.S. crop. However, with the weekly USDA Export Sales offering little support and the weekend looming, traders are probably liquidating winning long positions today. December corn futures dipped 1.75 cents to $3.845/bushel around midsession Friday, while May lost 1.75 to $4.055.
Bulls are probably taking profits in the soy complex as well. Vigorous demand obviously helped power the recent bean and meal rally, with oil getting carried along for the ride. However, today’s Export Sales data wasn’t very impressive, with bean sales lagging and the meal figure looking quite small. The market also seemed to ignore the announcement of a sizeable sale to China. Traders are very likely squaring positions before the weekend. January soybean futures dove 14.5 cents to $10.39/bushel just before lunchtime Friday, while December soyoil inched up 0.01 cent to 32.08 cents/pound, and December meal fell $8.2 to $385.3/ton.
The wheat markets may be worried about the Black Sea situation. Today’s wheat result on the Export Sales report slightly exceeded forecasts, which may have encouraged bulls looking for news of winter kill in the U.S. winter wheat crop. But one also has suspect traders worry about an open outbreak of Ukrainian fighting over the weekend, which might explain a significant portion of today’s strength. December CBOT wheat surged 8.25 cents to $5.62/bushel late Friday morning, while December KC wheat climbed 5.5 cents to $6.1075/bushel, and December MWE wheat added 7.0 to reach $5.9125.
Cattle traders are probably awaiting cash market action. Current cattle fundamentals and seasonal factors look bullish. Moreover, prices might spike if the central and southern Plains are hit by cold, snowy winter weather. However, futures moved mostly lower this morning, which probably reflected an industry focus upon today’s likely cash outcome. December live cattle futures declined 0.12 cents at 169.52 cents/pound in late Friday morning action, while April futures stumbled 0.37 to 168.92. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures advanced 0.72 cents to 234.95 cents/pound, and March feeders gained 0.22 to 233.05.
Talk of frigid weather and improved demand may be boosting CME hogs. Frigid weather over the northern Plains could slow hog and pork production rates during the days and weeks ahead, but wire service sources also cite industry hopes for renewed pork demand at current price levels. That may be premature, but futures are clearly acting well at this point. December hog futures leapt 1.57 cents to 92.85 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while April hogs ran up 0.65 to 93.50.
Cotton reacted well to Friday’s export data. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated last week’s cotton total at 158,300 bales, which far exceeded the week prior and topped the four-week average by 88%. That large result almost surely spurred ICE buying. December cotton futures bounced 0.42 cents to 60.15 cents/pound shortly before noon (EST) Friday, while March futures gained 0.77 cents to 59.52.