Ag markets diverged significantly Wednesday by midday

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The corn market remained strong Wednesday morning. After sagging Tuesday, the grain and soy markets bounced back in early trading today. Surprisingly low corn crop potential in Nebraska may have boosted prices somewhat, especially with short-term weather forecasts still dominated by hot, dry weather. September corn rose 10.0 cents to $4.9375/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while December gained 5.75 cents to $4.8125.

Weather concerns boosted the soy complex in early Wednesday action. The same factors supporting the corn market powered the Wednesday morning rebound as well. Traders know soybean plants are much more vulnerable to damaging weather at this time of year than are its grain counterparts, so it isn’t terribly surprising to see soybean and product futures rallying in response to the latest summery forecasts. September soybeans jumped 18.25 cents to $13.265/bushel by late Wednesday morning, and November beans leapt 20.0 to $13.105. September soyoil crept up 0.02 cents to 42.90 cents/pound, while September soymeal advanced $7.0 to $420.8/ton.

Wheat futures also moved generally higher, but spring wheat prices fell. Strength spilling over from the corn and soybean complexes apparently spurred modest gains in winter wheat futures Wednesday. However, a report indicating Canada will produce its largest wheat crop in 22 years depressed spring wheat prices, so the Canadian product competes directly with U.S. wheat grown in the Northern Plains. September CBOT wheat climbed 4.0 cents to $6.3825/bushel Wednesday morning, while September KCBT wheat bounced 5.5 cents to $7.0225, but September MGE futures sank 6.0 cents to $7.29.

Cattle futures declined moderately Wednesday morning. Despite general optimism about the short-term cash outlook and talk of a supportive Cattle on Feed report Friday, CME live cattle futures slumped in late morning activity. Traders may have been selling in response to the wholesale market’s history of late-August weakness (after grocers have met their Labor Day needs). October cattle futures skidded 0.12 cents to 128.02 cents/pound just before lunchtime Wednesday, while December sagged 0.22 cents to 130.35. September feeder cattle futures slid 0.40 cents to 157.85 cents/pound, and November stumbled 0.52 to 160.20.

The CME hog market fell victim to growing seasonal pressure. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets have held up remarkably well lately, but the historical confluence of rising supplies and slumping post-Labor Day demand seem likely to send this sharply lower. The Chicago market was very likely responding to those pressures Wednesday. October hog futures dove 1.27 cents to 85.67 cents/pound in late-morning trading, while December tumbled 1.25 cents to 82.50.

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