Ag futures declined modestly Wednesday morning

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Corn futures are now involved in a classic weather market. After rising on Tuesday in response to forecasts for late-July weather somewhat hotter and drier than previously thought, the corn market turned downward this morning as the forecasts seemed to improve once again. Traders can probably look forward to much more of the same over the next 2-3 weeks. September corn futures declined 4.25 cents to $5.41/bushel Wednesday morning, while December fell 6.25 cents to $5.045.

The soy complex was mixed Wednesday morning. Talk that cash bids across the Corn Belt have declined may be limiting strength in old crop soy prices today. And, as in the corn pit, talk of improved short-term weather prospects seemed to be undercutting new crop prices. The oil market still appears to be suffering from its position on the wrong side of the crush equation. August soybean futures rose 3.0 cents to $14.7825/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while August soyoil was unchanged at 45.71 cents/pound and August soymeal gained $3.0 to $469.8/ton.

Hopes for rising exports seemingly support wheat futures Wednesday. With the winter wheat harvest winding down and spring wheat being much less vulnerable to hot, dry summer conditions, the golden grain markets are less responsive to weather news at this point. That may be one reason traders once again pushed prices higher in response to talk of increased Chinese buying. September CBOT wheat ground rose 1.75 cents to $6.7125/bushel Wednesday morning, while September KCBT wheat edged 3.0 cents higher to $7.0675 and September MGE futures lifted 0.75 cent to $7.6075.

Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Wednesday morning. Some might cite weakness in choice grade cutout Tuesday afternoon, but growing concern about the outcome of cash trading later this week seems the more likely cause. Bullish traders may also be exiting positions ahead of the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report due out Friday afternoon. August cattle fell 0.65 cents to 121.47 cents/pound just before the lunch hour Wednesday, while December sank 0.55 cents to 128.15. August feeder futures dove 0.87 cents to 151.67 cents/pound, and November dropped 0.90 cents to 157.20.

Hog futures were mixed to lower around midday Wednesday. Hog traders still seem rather optimistic about short-term price prospects, due in part to the discount already built into the nearby August contract. However, ongoing cash and wholesale losses seem to be part and parcel of a larger seasonal decline across the hog and pork complex. August hog futures skidded 0.42 cents to 95.87 cents/pound around midsession Wednesday, while December edged 0.10 cents lower to 82.40.

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