Ag markets were widely mixed Wednesday

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The corn market remained strong Wednesday. After sagging Tuesday, the grain and soy markets bounced back in early trading. Surprisingly low corn crop potential in Nebraska may have boosted prices somewhat, especially with short-term weather forecasts still dominated by hot, dry weather. September corn surged 14.25 cents to $4.98/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December gained 7.75 cents to $4.8325.

Weather concerns boosted the soy complex in Wednesday trading. The same factors supporting the corn market powered today’s soy rebound as well. Traders know soybean plants are much more vulnerable to damaging weather at this time of year than are its grain counterparts, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see soybean and product futures rallying in response to the latest summery forecasts. September soybeans jumped 23.75 cents to $13.33/bushel in late Wednesday action, and November beans leapt 13.5 to $13.04. September soyoil edged 0.06 cents lower to 42.82 cents/pound, whereas September soymeal advanced $7.7 to $421.5/ton.

Winter wheat futures rose slightly Wednesday, but spring wheat prices fell. Strength spilling over from the corn and soybean complexes apparently spurred modest gains in winter wheat futures today. However, a report indicating Canada will produce its largest wheat crop in 22 years depressed spring wheat values, since the Canadian product competes directly with U.S. wheat grown in the Northern Plains. September CBOT wheat closed 4.5 cents to $6.3875/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while September KCBT wheat bounced 2.75 cents to $6.995, but September MGE futures sank 6.0 cents to $7.29.

Cattle futures declined moderately in midweek trading. Despite general optimism about the short-term cash outlook and talk of a supportive Cattle on Feed report Friday, CME live cattle futures slumped Wednesday. Traders may have been selling in response to the wholesale market’s history of late-August weakness (after grocers have met their Labor Day needs). October cattle futures skidded 0.17 cents to 127.97 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement, while December sagged 0.10 cents to 130.47. September feeder cattle futures slid 0.55 cents to 157.70 cents/pound, and November stumbled 0.42 to 160.30.

The CME hog market fell victim to growing seasonal pressure. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets have held up remarkably well lately, but the historical confluence of rising supplies and slumping post-Labor Day demand seems likely to send them sharply lower. The Chicago market was very likely responding to those pressures Wednesday. October hog futures settled 1.13 cents lower at 85.82 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while December tumbled 1.13 cents to 82.62.

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