Ag markets proved surprisingly volatile Wednesday

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Corn futures consolidate recent gains Wednesday. The corn market rallied from short-term moving average support Tuesday. However, the bounce did not carry prices back above their mid-February highs, which seemingly caused traders to have second thoughts about trying to push the market higher in the days just ahead. News of a sizeable Tuesday corn sale provided modest support. March corn skidded 0.25 cent to $4.555/bushel at the CBOT’s Wednesday close, while May lost 0.25 to $4.61.

The soy complex stage a big afternoon rebound. Talk of the tight U.S. situation and reduced South American production forecasts have been supporting the soy complex lately, but the bean and meal markets apparently lost their upward momentum Wednesday morning. However, growing talk of delays in Brazilian harvesting and shipping reportedly sparked a fresh afternoon surge. March soybeans climbed 8.25 cents to $14.0775/bushel in late Wednesday action, while March soyoil leapt 0.62 cents to 41.20 cents/pound, but March soymeal slipped $1.3 to $468.3/ton.

The wheat markets weakened as Wednesday passed. Traders seemed concerned about export demand for U.S. wheat after Egypt’s cancellation Tuesday. Traders also seemed less worried about freeze damage to winter wheat after seeing last night’s relatively moderate Midwest lows. Prices fell sharply just before the close. However, afternoon news of a fresh Egyptian import tender may spark a Thursday bounce. March CBOT wheat futures dove 15.0 cents to $6.00/bushel at their Wednesday settlement, while March KCBT wheat futures fell 11.5 cents to $6.79, and March MWE futures dropped 3.75 to $6.7025.

Bullish news sent cattle futures soaring Wednesday. The wholesale markets jumped at midday Wednesday, which in turn seemed to persuade beef packers to pay up for fed cattle later in the day. They raised their bids sharply around midsession, they reportedly paid $152/cwt for Nebraska cattle after the close. Thus, futures seem likely to surge even more in overnight trading. April cattle futures spiked 2.12 cents to 144.52 at Wednesday’s close, while August jumped 1.05 to 132.97. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle surged 9.92 cents to 172.00 cents/pound, and May soared 1.12 to 174.50.

Hog futures ended mixed Wednesday. Cash hog and pork prices surged recently, with strong demand seeming to be a major factor. However, cash reports were blacked out by thin trading today, while pork values declined. Nevertheless, traders continued buying the April future, but were selling the deferred contracts. That may have reflected active rolling of short positions into the summer contracts. April hogs settled 0.45 cents higher at 101.02 cents/pound Wednesday, while June slid 0.60 to 108.35.

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