Corn firmed in concert with the ag markets overnight. Although Chinese officials predicted a record crop and diminished demand Tuesday night, corn futures traded around unchanged levels. General optimism seemed to support the ag markets. Widespread short-covering ahead of tomorrow’s USDA reports probably played a role in that firmness. December corn inched up 0.25 cent to $4.6925/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May gained 0.25 cent to $4.9025.

News of reduced Chinese production probably boosted soybeans last night. Chinese officials indicated that they expect their forthcoming soybean crop to fall 4.2% short of the year-ago total, which probably bodes well for future import demand. Persistent dryness isn’t helping the domestic crop either. Still, traders suggested that short covering play a significant role in the overnight rally. November soybeans climbed 1.75 cents to $13.5675/bushel around dawn Wednesday, while October soyoil slid 0.03 cents to 42.78 cents/pound, and October soymeal bounced $0.6 to $429.0/ton.

The wheat markets followed corn and soybeans higher Wednesday morning. Chinese officials apparently made no statements concerning that country’s wheat situation overnight, but wheat futures rose anyway. Strength spilling over from the corn and soy pits probably encouraged buying, especially with so many traders covering previously established shorts at this juncture. December CBOT wheat rose 1.0 cent to $6.475/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while December KCBT wheat edged 1.25 cents higher to $6.96 and December MGE futures moved up 2.5 cents to $7.0825.

Cattle futures seemed to benefit from a more positive atmosphere overnight. Persistent beef weakness has undercut cattle futures lately, due largely to ideas that cash prices will also underperform. And yet, CME quote rose rather significantly Tuesday night, which seemed to reflect a more optimistic ag environment. October cattle futures rallied 0.30 cents to 125.32 cents/pound early Wednesday, while December lifted 0.27 cents to 128.92. October feeder cattle skidded 0.07 cents to 157.70 cents/pound, and January slipped 0.07 cents to 157.70.

Wholesale strength likely boosted hog futures early Wednesday. After seemingly anticipating a quick end to its September rebound earlier this week, hog futures rose modestly in overnight action. That probably reflected the persistent strength exhibited by wholesale pork prices this week. October hog futures climbed advanced 0.27 cents to 91.12 cents/pound in early Wednesday action, while December elevated 0.20 cents to 87.75.

Cotton also inched upward Tuesday night. Little news concerning the cotton market emerged overnight, which seemingly left ICE futures to their own devices. Ultimately, modest short covering and concurrent grain and soy gains seemed to push prices slightly higher. December cotton futures crept up 0.05 cents to 84.52 cents/pound just after sunrise Wednesday, while March rose 0.14 to 83.90.