Dollar weakness may be supporting the ag markets at this point. News remains sparse during the federal government shutdown, but reports of sliding country prices seemed to continue weighing upon corn futures Wednesday morning. However, the losses may have been limited by concurrent slippage by the U.S. dollar, since that lowers the cost of U.S. goods to export customers, thereby encouraging export demand. December corn slipped 0.5 cent to $4.385/bushel by late Wednesday morning, while May lost 0.25 cent to $4.595.
The soy complex remained mixed late Wednesday morning. Talk of improved U.S. crop conditions and the accelerating harvest are probably weighing upon the soybean complex, but beans and meal bounced in Wednesday morning action. The rebound may have been exaggerated by the concurrent U.S. slide to its lowest levels since last February; that could accelerate buying from international customers. The bearish vegoil supply situation kept the pressure on soyoil prices. November soybeans gained 7.75 cents to $12.7575/bushel around midsession Wednesday, whereas December soyoil fell 0.57 cents to 39.70 cents/pound, and December soymeal climbed $7.4 to $410.7/ton.
Strong export prospects seem to be boosting the wheat markets. Market observers continue pointing to vigorous export demand for U.S. wheat. Those prospects are probably improving at this point, since the traditional U.S. dollar index has fallen to its lowest level since last February, thereby effectively lowering the cost of wheat to foreign customers. December CBOT wheat ran up 5.0 cents to $6.8625 bushel in late Wednesday morning trading, while December KCBT wheat jumped 8.75 cents to $7.5375, and December MGE futures surged 8.75 cents to $7.455.
Cattle futures came back from early Wednesday lows. The livestock markets are still operating in an informational vacuum, so it wasn’t surprising to see live cattle futures little changed this morning. Futures did rebound modestly from overnight losses, but traders seem uncommitted to either side of the market at this point. December cattle futures inched up 0.15 cents to 132.05 cents/pound around lunchtime Wednesday, while April moved 0.27 cents higher to 134.85. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle advanced 0.55 cents to 166.60 cents/pound, and January rallied 0.72 to 165.92.
Hog futures posted significant gains in Wednesday morning action. Again, the lack of USDA news is very likely limiting activity in the hog pit. Still, talk of steady prices at the various country markets probably supported CME prices this morning. We also harbor suspicions that wholesale prices are holding up relatively well at this point. December hog futures lifted 0.50 cents to 86.40 cents/pound in late morning trading, while April improved 0.47 cents to 89.30.