Ag markets proved rather volatile Wednesday morning

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Corn futures followed wheat higher Wednesday morning. The corn market has bounced from technical support this week with a big assist from surging wheat prices. Wheat gains and talk of potential spring dryness in the U.S. and Black Sea appear to be boosting prices, but traders were probably encouraged by the reported drop in domestic ethanol inventories. May corn gained 2.0 cents to $4.8525/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while December added 2.0 to $4.8325. .

Talk of cancellations seems to depressing the soy complex. This morning’s crop report from CONAB (Brazil’s USDA counterpart) stated the current Brazilian bean crop at just 85.4 million tonnes, which seemed quite bullish. However, CBOT soybean and product prices sustained their big Tuesday night losses, which probably reflected a large drop in the Gulf basis and talk of Chinese cancellations of Brazilian export sales. May soybeans plunged 31.0 cents to $13.82/bushel late Wednesday morning, while May soyoil tumbled 0.39 cents to 43.36 cents/pound, and May soymeal dove $10.0 to $434.2/ton.

The wheat markets rallied again this morning. Wheat futures surged Tuesday and again Wednesday morning, with traders reportedly focusing upon dryness in the U.S. Plains. They also appear concerned about reduced prospects for Crimean spring wheat plantings and, of course, upon the touchy political situation in the Black Sea region. May CBOT wheat futures surged 20.0 cents to $6.79/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while May KCBT wheat futures climbed 17.5 cents to $7.46 and May MWE futures ran up 18.75 to $7.2575.

Cattle futures are exhibiting modest strength. CME cattle prices have fluctuated around unchanged levels since plunging last Wednesday, which probably reflects industry uncertainty about short-term cash and wholesale prospects. However, beef prices have continued their March advance, thereby encouraging optimism about this week’s cash outlook. April cattle futures advanced 0.50 cents to 143.72 cents/pound in late Wednesday activity, while August bounced 0.37 cents to 134.40. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle moved up 0.52 cents to 176.10 cents/pound, and August rallied 0.47 to 178.27.

Profit taking has apparently entered the hog market. Hog futures continued their massive price spike Tuesday as cash and wholesale prices again led the way higher. Nevertheless, large CME premiums and extremely overbought conditions have seemingly triggered active selling today. Bulls have to worry about the sustainability of the advance. April hogs fell 0.80 cents to 116.30 cents/pound by late Wednesday morning, while June sagged 0.10 to 124.85.

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