Ag markets moved generally lower on Wednesday

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Corn futures followed their recent pattern again Wednesday, with tight old crop supplies apparently supporting the nearby July contract. In contrast, optimism about the pace of Corn Belt plantings depressed deferred futures, since forthcoming weather seems likely to allow corn plantings to be completed in something approaching a timely manner. July corn closed 0.25 cents higher at $6.6075/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December dropped 10.75 cents to $5.4225.

Soybean futures seemingly reacted to the same forces affecting corn prices. The expiring July future likely benefitted from old crop tightness, whereas the improved planting pace implies seeding will be completed without a great deal of damage to fall harvest prospects. July soybean futures gained 3.25 cents to $15.32/bushel late Wednesday afternoon, while July soyoil slipped 0.29 cents to 48.30 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $3.4 to $455.9/ton.

Wheat futures reportedly suffered from seasonal pressure Wednesday. That is, talk that the harvest has begun in far southern portions of the Winter Wheat Belt may be undercut the nearby contracts, whereas improved rainfall over the Corn Belt depressed new crop futures. July CBOT wheat futures dipped 7.5 cents to $7.015/bushel at its Wednesday settlement, while July KCBT wheat slid 7.5 cents to $7.4325 and July MGE futures declined 5.0 cents to $8.10.

The latest news seemingly weighed upon livestock futures today. The late-morning wholesale report indicated that choice cutout was continuing its recent decline, but the real news of the day concerned trade. That is, a monthly report stated April U.S. beef exports at 180.1 million pounds, which marked a 13.3% annual decline and a 19% drop from two years ago, thereby implying diminished demand for American beef. June cattle slumped 0.52 cents to 120.42 cents/pound as the pit session ended Wednesday, while December tumbled 0.85 to 124.72. August feeder futures sank 0.82 cents to 144.75 cents/pound, and November lost 0.80 cents to 150.00

Hog traders also seemed to react poorly to the weak monthly export sales report, since that stated April pork shipments 11.9% below year-ago. However, the noon pork report indicated a major jump in pork cutout, up 3.80 cents to 96.28 cents/pound, which almost surely powered the subsequent CME rebound. Futures finished mixed. June hog futures settled 0.12 cents higher at 96.65 cents/pound Wednesday, while December declined 0.32 cents to 80.50.

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