Ag markets mostly lower at midsession Wednesday

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Crop forecasts are again depressing grain and soy prices. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report boosted the crop rating 1% to 74% good-to-excellent, which is the second highest late-August reading since 1994. The prospect of huge fall yields, as well as industry forecasts to that effect, are clearly undercutting CBOT futures. December corn futures sank 10.0 cents to $3.5375 late Wednesday morning, while May lost 9.5 to $3.7525.

Rising soybean readings are also dragging soy prices lower. The USDA Crop Progress report raised the rating for the U.S. bean crop 2% to 72% good to excellent, which is quite rare in August. The bearish CBOT response was hardly surprising, especially after a private firm boosted its harvest forecast to 4.0 billion bushels. November soybean futures fell 18.5 cents to $10.135/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while October soyoil sagged 0.17 cents to 31.78 cents/pound, and October soymeal dove $11.3 to $360.9/ton.

Outside developments are weighing on the wheat markets. Although the Crop Progress report indicated continued deterioration of the spring wheat crop and a laggardly harvest, wheat futures declined in concert with corn and beans. That probably reflected news that China has greatly increased its wheat stocks this year, as well as talk of Russia-Ukraine cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. December CBOT wheat plunged 17.25 cents to $5.3775/bushel in late Wednesday morning action, while December KC wheat dropped 14.0 cents to $6.185/bushel, and December MWE wheat tumbled 10.75 to $6.12.

Cash optimism seems to be powering gains in cattle futures. Cattle futures reacted well Tuesday to last week’s late cash strength. Beef prices actually dipped, but that seemed to do little to diminish optimism about potential seasonal strength during the days and weeks ahead. October live cattle futures leapt 1.22 cents to 153.65 cents/pound just before lunchtime Wednesday, while December futures climbed 0.95 to 156.47. Meanwhile, October feeder futures jumped 1.27 cents to 220.10 cents/pound and January feeders surged 0.77 to 213.37.

Hog futures couldn’t sustain big early gains. Hog futures seemed set to build upon Tuesday’s nearby futures surge. However, after climbing overnight, midday Wednesday action looks more like a continuation of Tuesday afternoon weakness. One has to suspect morning talk of cash and wholesale developments disappointed bulls. October hogs had inched up just 0.02 cents to 99.90 cents/pound in late Wednesday morning action, while December slumped 0.80 to 92.60.

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