Ag markets diverged Wednesday morning

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Corn futures are fluctuating around unchanged levels. The corn market followed soybeans lower Tuesday night as improved weather forecasts weighed on prices. Continued U.S. dollar strength wasn’t helpful either. However, news of a sizeable wheat sale to Nigeria boosted those markets, which in turn appeared to keep yellow grain prices relatively stable at midsession. September corn skidded 0.5 cents to $3.61/bushel late Wednesday morning, while December lost 0.75 cents to $3.705.

The soy complex remains mostly lower. Firming Gulf quotes apparently boosted the expiring August bean contract, but the rest of the soy complex remained weak at midday Wednesday. The losses almost surely reflect forecasts for widespread Corn Belt rainfall next week, thereby alleviating worries about diminished fall production. August soybean futures rebounded 1.75 cents to $12.2825/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while November futures sagged 6.25 cents to $10.8875. August soyoil sank 0.27 cents to 35.98 cents/pound and August soymeal slid $2.8 to $392.6/ton.

Export news boosted the wheat markets Wednesday. Although current weather forecasts and the rising dollar also seem bearish for the wheat outlook, golden grain prices turned decidedly higher today after the USDA announced a sizeable sale to Nigeria. Traders are probably bottom-picking and short-covering as well. September CBOT wheat advanced 5.25 cents to $5.2525/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while September KC wheat lifted 3.0 cents to $6.145/bushel, and September MWE wheat edged up 4.0 cents to $6.145.

Strong cash prospects are boosting CME cattle prices. Cattle traders suspect last week’s big cash jump signaled a looming blow-off top. However, surging wholesale prices and strong packer margins remain very supportive, so the industry is apparently reconsidering early-week futures slippage. August live cattle surged 0.92 cents to 159.70 cents/pound in late Wednesday morning action, while December rallied 0.65 cents to 159.80. Meanwhile, August feeder futures soared 1.50 cents to 222.92 cents/pound, and October feeders leapt 1.52 to 223.65.

Talk of fresh cash and wholesale weakness may be depressing hog futures. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets stabilized Tuesday, which provided support for CME futures early this morning. However, Chicago prices turned decidedly lower by late morning, which probably reflects industry talk of fresh cash/pork losses. August hog futures tumbled 1.05 cents to 120.40 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, while December slumped 0.57 cents to 96.02.


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