Ag markets traded widely Wednesday

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Corn futures followed wheat higher Wednesday. 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 areas appear to be boosting prices, but traders were probably encouraged by the reported drop in domestic ethanol inventories as well. May corn gained 5.25 cents to $4.885/bushel at Wednesday’s close, while December added 5.0 to $4.8625.

Talk of cancellations seemed depress the soy complex. Wednesday’s early 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 26.0 cents to $13.87/bushel in late Wednesday action, while May soyoil tumbled 0.33 cents to 43.42 cents/pound, and May soymeal dropped $7.7 to $436.5/ton.

The wheat markets rallied again today. Wheat futures surged Tuesday and again Wednesday, 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 jumped 24.75 cents to $6.8375/bushel late Wednesday, while May KCBT wheat futures climbed 19.2.5 cents to $7.4775 and May MWE futures soared 23.75 to $7.3075.

Cattle futures posted sizeable mid-week gains. CME cattle prices have fluctuated around unchanged levels since plunging last Wednesday, which probably reflected industry uncertainty about short-term cash and wholesale prospects. However, beef prices remained generally strong today, thereby encouraging optimism about this week’s cash outlook. April cattle futures settled up 0.65 cents at 143.87 cents/pound Wednesday, while August bounced 0.60 cents to 134.62. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle moved up 0.30 cents to 175.87 cents/pound, and August rallied 0.37 to 178.17.

Profit taking 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 seemingly triggered active selling today. Bulls have to worry about the sustainability of the advance. April hogs fell 1.17 cents to 115.92 cents/pound in late Wednesday action, but June bounced 0.37 to 125.32.

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