Ag markets began Wednesday in mixed fashion

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The grain markets rose slightly Tuesday night. Little pertinent news was published, so market observers were inclined to credit relatively firm cash prices for the early corn strength. Late spring plantings are translating into a late start to the Corn Belt harvest. Recent ethanol weakness may be limiting gains in yellow grain prices. December corn rose 0.75 cent to $4.545/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May added 0.75 cent to $4.755.

Soybeans proved rather weak again in early Wednesday trading. The prospect of improved short-term rains over the Corn Belt probably weighed upon the soy complex overnight, due in part to the huge gains posted during the August ‘flash-drought.’ Overnight palm oil weakness may also have weighed upon prices. November soybeans declined 4.5 cents to $13.38/bushel just after dawn Wednesday, while October soyoil slumped 0.09 cents to 41.91 cents/pound, and October soymeal sank $1.8 to $427.0/ton.

Wheat futures rose in concert with corn Wednesday morning. The reasons behind the wheat strength weren’t obvious, especially with the soy complex moving lower at the same time. Ultimately, ideas that corn price might not decline as much as anticipated this fall will reduced spillover pressure upon feed wheat values may be supporting the markets. December CBOT wheat gained 1.25 cents to $6.4425/bushel in early Wednesday action, while December KCBT wheat lifted 1.0 cents to $6.9125, and December MGE futures edged up 1.0 cent to $7.005.

Cattle futures continued their late decline Wednesday morning. The cattle and beef complex traditionally tends to rally during late summer and fall, but that has hardly been the case lately. Tuesday afternoon slippage in beef cutouts seemingly implied a persistent lack of strength. October cattle futures sank 0.30 cents to 124.87 cents/pound as trading accelerated Wednesday morning, while December sagged 0.40 to 128.25. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle dove 0.75 cents to 157.12 cents/pound, and January dropped 0.55 cents to 157.95.

Hog futures also remained weak in early Wednesday trading. Hog and pork prices had recently disappointed CME hog traders, thereby undercutting futures Tuesday. The slide continued overnight despite stronger reading late yesterday, which seemingly opened the door for a fresh surge. This may indicate that traders are expecting a seasonal peak in the days ahead, which would be followed by a sharp autumn decline. October hog futures slipped 0.10 cents to 90.87 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December slid 0.10 cents to 87.42.

Chinese news probably boosted cotton futures overnight. Chinese officials announced Tuesday evening that the Asian giant’s August cotton imports had fall 9.7% from 2012, which seemed like a bearish development. However, that was followed by early-morning news that it has also made its first 2013 purchases for its state stockpiling program; the modest bullish response was not terribly surprising. December cotton rallied 0.26 cents to 84.70 cents/pound around sunrise Wednesday, while March moved up 0.14 to 84.29.

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