Ag markets traded across the spectrum of gains, losses Wednesday

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Corn futures followed the soy and wheat markets lower Wednesday. Corn futures slipped along with soybeans Wednesday morning, which probably reflected talk of rising South American corn and bean production. Yellow grain losses grew as beans and wheat led the way lower. Large U.S. supplies provided a bearish backdrop. March corn dipped 4.5 cents to $4.275/bushel at Wednesday’s close, while May slipped 4.0 to $4.3425.

Talk of rising South American supplies very likely weighed on the soy complex. Traders in the CBOT soy pits apparently sold in anticipation of the incipient South American harvest. The latest report from the USDA’s Brazilian attaché added to selling when it unofficially boosted the harvest forecast 500,000 tonnes to 89.5 million. The report also raised predicted exports 1.5 million to 46 million tonnes. March soybeans dove 16.25 cents to $12.6925/bushel in late Wednesday trading. March soyoil slumped 0.30 cents to 37.10 cents/pound, and March soymeal lost $5.3 to $423.3/ton.

Technical selling exaggerated Wednesday’s wheat losses. Predictions for warming weather over much of the U.S. seemingly spurred selling in wheat futures this morning. The losses were reportedly exacerbated by technicians after the nearby contracts fell to 3.5-year lows. March CBOT wheat futures plunged 14.5 cents to $5.515/bushel at their Wednesday settlement, while March KCBT wheat futures sank 13.25 cents to $6.0875 and March MWE futures tumbled 7.0 to $5.98.

Tumbling beef prices depressed nearby cattle futures. CME traders were probably anticipating fresh gains in cash cattle prices later this week, but mid-week beef news undercut those hopes. February futures declined as a result. Conversely, the industry remains optimistic about spring price potential, which would seemingly explain late gains in deferred futures. February cattle futures settled 0.47 cents lower at 142.07 cents/pound Wednesday, while the April contract moved up 0.17 cents to 140.52. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle surged 0.85 cents to 169.22 cents/pound, and May advanced 0.32 to 169.85.

Hog futures seemingly reflected resurgent short-term prospects. The cash hog and pork markets were stated at surprisingly firm levels Tuesday afternoon. When combined with this morning’s report indicating a weekly decline in market hog weights, traders apparently were greatly encouraged. We suspect talk of continued cash/wholesale strength also sparked buying. February hogs jumped 1.25 cents to 86.52 cents/pound in late Wednesday trading, and June added 0.52 to 103.32.


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