Ag markets proved rather divergent Wednesday

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Corn futures firmed somewhat Wednesday afternoon. The U.S. corn crop is doing very well, with the recent heat wave likely helping plants in several areas. Forecasts imply increased chances of rain later this week and next, so traders apparently saw little reason to buy CBOT futures. Conversely, there’s lots of bearish news in the market already. September corn settled unchanged at $3.56/bushel Wednesday, as did December at $3.65.

Hopes for a demand surge seemingly boosted nearby beans and meal. This week’s early breakdown in old-crop bean and meal prices, as well as the sustained weakness suffered by the new crop markets, had obviously reduced soy costs to buyers. Traders now think those losses will spark renewed demand from domestic and export customers, which would explain today’s bounce in nearby bean and meal futures. September soybean futures rebounded 10.25 cents to $10.8575/bushel as Wednesday’s pit session ended, while November futures dropped 4.25 cents to $10.2375. September soyoil lost 0.36 cents to 32.67 cents/pound, whereas September soymeal soared $27.8 to $418.5/ton.

The wheat markets posted a strong close Wednesday. Prospects for the fall spring-wheat crop seem to be diminishing as excessive rainfall hits the northern Plains, which in turn appeared to support wheat futures today. Overnight news that Taiwan had rejected all offers on a tender for U.S. wheat disappointed traders, but bears’ inability to force prices lower redounded to bullish effect later in the day. September CBOT wheat ended Wednesday having rallied 5.75 cents to $5.4725/bushel, while September KC wheat ran up 7.0 cents to $6.28/bushel, but September MWE wheat skidded 2.5 to $6.1025.

Cattle futures lost their upward momentum Wednesday. Beef cutout values dipped Tuesday afternoon and again at midday, which seemingly undercut bullish efforts in the CME cattle pit. Modest nearby losses were dwarfed by big declines in 2015 futures, the reason for which wasn’t readily apparent. October live cattle futures sank 0.42 cents to 147.82 cents/pound in late Wednesday trading, while December futures tumbled 0.47 to 150.77. Meanwhile, September feeder futures rose 0.27 cents to 214.47 and November futures dropped 0.60 to 210.22.

The hog market struggled in sustaining today’s gains. Tuesday’s late cash and pork quotes proved quite firm and boosted CME futures strongly last night and this morning. The midsession quotes were mixed to lower. Nevertheless, hog traders rather clearly think current stability is setting the stage for a sizeable late-summer advance. October hogs surged 0.82 cents to 95.92 cents/pound late Wednesday afternoon, while December rallied 0.80 to 90.50.

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