July 31, 2015 AgriVisor Afternoon MarketWatch

Friday, July 31, 2015
***** Corn futures finish 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cents lower; soybeans down 9 to 11 1/4; Chicago wheat 2 3/4 higher to 1 3/4 lower with relative strength in the front. *****
   Grains traded higher for most of Friday's overnight session before soybeans turned weaker at the open. Corn and wheat were following soy lower by midday. 
   July was not friendly to the grains. Corn futures tumbled 43 cents through the month, soybeans lost 75 1/2, and Chicago wheat gave back $1.15.
   Point to drier weather as the major catalyst for lower prices in July. Whereas rainfall totals were ranging 200 to 300 percent of normal in June, precipitation amounts were close to average for most of this month. A cool forecast for the first half of August helps paint a bearish weather story. 
   July was not a good month for the commodity space as a whole. WTI oil prices dropped 20 percent on the month, gold prices tanked, and soft commodities were broadly weaker. The dollar had carried big gains into Friday to help weigh on commodities. 
   Soybean prices were pressured by a report that export sales had been cancelled. A Chinese company is bulking on a sale of 200,000 metric tons of soybeans intended for 2014/15 delivery. The development added to worries about Chinese demand weakness. But, Chinese buyers have actually been large net-buyers of U.S. soybeans over the past two weeks. 
   The dollar took a hit on Friday as an employment cost reading disappointed. Wages continue to be the weak link in the labor market. Traders used the data to argue against the likelihood of a September interest rate hike. 
***** Hogs fall $0.95 to $2 on the day; live cattle futures end $1.225 firmer in the front and fractionally weaker in the deferred contracts. *****
   The nearby August live cattle contract was trading moderately higher on Friday as the deferred months fell back. There are expectations for a mild seasonal upswing, but the bulls need help from the cash market. Wholesale values were improving to begin the week but held steady on Friday before the negotiated trade developed.
   Hog traders were liquidating positions after a strong start to the week. The pork cutout was leading the way lower. Direct hogs dropped more than $2.