Ag markets moved mostly higher Wednesday morning

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After dipping in overnight trading, corn futures resumed their early-week rally Wednesday morning. General supply tightness is probably offering support despite news of diminished ethanol industry production last week and forecasts for favorable growing weather during the days and weeks just ahead. However, persistent problems stemming from the late start to plantings and excessive moisture seem likely to limit the harvest and render the crop vulnerable to summer heat. In fact, a Memphis-based firm lowered its estimates of U.S. acreage this morning, which probably supported prices as well. July corn climbed 4.75 cents to $6.78/bushel Wednesday morning, while December surged 7.25 cents to $5.5775.

Soybean prices are higher in mid-morning trading due to weather concerns. Weather forecasts predict less rain later this month. Because the supplies are tight and demand is strong, basis bids are higher. However, USDA staff in Beijing forecast Chinese import next year at 67.5 mmt, less than official USDA forecast at 69mmt. July soybean futures gained 1.75 cents to $15.1250 /bushel versus close on Tuesday, whereas July soyoil advanced 0.19 cents to 49.00 cents/pound; July soybean meal skidded $0.5 to $451.3/ton. November soybean futures increased 7.5 cents to $ 12.9725 per bushel.

Wheat futures turned decisively higher Wednesday morning, with weather driven gains being exaggerated by favorable technical developments. While improved rainfall is generally welcome across the Great Plains, it is delaying the winter wheat harvest and the final spring wheat planting push in the Dakotas. Indeed, significant North Dakota acreage may not get planted. That was the gist of a late report from a Memphis-based consultancy. July CBOT wheat jumped 14.25 cents to $7.0175/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while July KCBT wheat leapt 14.75 cent to $7.34, and July MGE futures soared 12.5 to $8.115.

Cattle futures seemingly rallied in concert with the surging hog and pork complex Wednesday morning. Cattle and beef prices often lead the livestock and meat markets, but the extreme strength being exhibited by those associated with the swine industry are dominating the news at this juncture. Whether the cash cattle and wholesale beef markets can avoid fresh seasonal losses is very much open to question. August cattle surged 0.70 cents to 120.20 cents/pound just before lunchtime Wednesday, while December advanced 0.97 cents to 123.502. August feeder cattle futures ran up 0.80 cents to 144.60 cents/pound and November increased 0.60 to 150.15.


Hog futures raced upward again Wednesday morning as Chicago traders chased the cash market higher. After having officially topped its 2012 peak earlier in the day, the CME lean hog index, which futures cash-settle against, is now expected to come in at 103.87 cents/pound tomorrow. The sustainability of the ongoing cash/wholesale rally is still open to question, but it is making the summer/fall contracts look cheap at the moment. July hog futures spiked 2.17 cents to 100.87 around midday Wednesday, while December added 0.62 cents to 82.32.

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