Ag markets ended generally lower Wednesday

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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 Wednesday as Corn Belt 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 6.75 cents to $5.385/bushel at the Wednesday close, while December fell 8.75 cents to $5.02.

The soy complex was mixed Wednesday. Talk that cash bids across the Corn Belt have declined may have limited strength in old crop soy prices. And, as in the corn pit, talk of improved short-term weather prospects seemed to undercut new crop prices. The oil market apparently bounced in concert with Asian palm oil prices. August soybean futures closed 2.25 cents higher at $14.775/bushel Wednesday, while August soyoil bounced 0.08 cents to 45.79 cents/pound and August soymeal gained $2.3 to $469.1/ton.

Wheat futures turned downward Wednesday on disappointing export news. 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. Wheat futures rallied early on hopes for persistently strong Chinese buying, but later turned downward in response to talk of Chinese interest in cheaper product elsewhere. September CBOT wheat ground sagged 4.5 cents to $6.65/bushel Wednesday morning, while September KCBT wheat edged 1.0 cent lower to $7.0275 and September MGE futures lost 4.75 cents to $7.5525.

Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Wednesday. 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 0.83 cents to 121.30 cents/pound at its Wednesday settlement, while December sank 0.77 cents to 127.92. August feeder futures dove 1.57 cents to 150.97 cents/pound, and November tumbled 0.95 cents to 157.15.

Hog futures were mixed to lower Wednesday afternoon. 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 0.50 cents to 95.80 cents/pound around midsession Wednesday, while December edged 0.07 cents lower to 82.42.

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