Ag market action was decidedly confused Wednesday

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Corn futures edged higher Wednesday. Tight old crop supplies reportedly translated into country firmness this morning, which may also have supported CBOT prices. Deferred futures also rose slightly, which probably reflected the supportive influence of rising wheat prices over the bearish implications of good growing weather. September corn futures inched up 3.5 cents to $4.99/bushel at the daily close, while December rose 1.5 cents to $4.79.

The soy complex was mixed to higher at Wednesday’s settlement. Old crop tightness seemingly boosted August beans and meal. News of strong Malaysian palm oil exports during June also appeared bulls for oil and bean prices Tuesday night, but that strength faded as the day passed. The general firmness in the face of ideal Corn Belt weather was rather impressive. Expiring August soybean futures soared 24.0 cents to $13.74/bushel as trading wound down Wednesday, while November beans added 3.25 cents to $12.0625. August soyoil edged 0.02 cents higher to 42.09 cents/pound, while August soymeal climbed $5.9 to $435.1/ton.

Wheat futures posted sizeable gains in Wednesday trading. Talk of strong export demand probably offered support, but traders also appeared to focus upon the potential impact of recent rains and the resulting sprouting of lots of U.S. winter wheat. Forecasts for ideal summer weather may have limited spring wheat gains. September CBOT wheat jumped 9.0 cents to $6.6425/bushel late Wednesday afternoon and September KCBT wheat surged 10.5 cents to $7.0675, while September MGE futures gained 4.0 cents to $7.4125.

Live cattle futures were mixed Wednesday. Traders probably believe the traditional seasonal rally in cash and wholesale prices will occur during the coming weeks and months, but apparently worry that those markets won’t justify the premiums already built into CME prices. Lack of confidence about the result of this week’s cash trade seemingly weighed upon nearby futures today. August cattle closed 0.20 cents lower at 121.45 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while December was unchanged at 128.37. August feeder futures bounced 0.17 cents to 153.42 cents/pound, and November rose 0.50 cents to 160.05.

Hog futures also underwent some divergences Wednesday. After breaking down Tuesday, the nearby August future posted a sharp rebound in response to wholesale strength. That supported the October contract as well, but deferred futures proved flat to weak. Forthcoming pork pricing will play a big role in CME market swine developments. August hog futures advanced 0.70 cents to 97.57 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while December sagged 0.10 cents to 80.50.

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