Ag markets were widely mixed Wednesday

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Corn futures couldn’t sustain their bullish reaction to the WASDE report. CBOT traders were expecting today’s WASDE report to boost nearby corn prices. The actual World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates (WASDE) report looked bullish, since the USDA cut its carryout forecast substantially. However, the CBOT market couldn’t sustain its initial bullish response, then followed the wheat market lower. May corn slid 4.75 cents to $5.0225/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December sagged 7.5 to $5.055.

The soy complex reacted well to the WASDE data. Traders were quite optimistic about the likely WASDE result prior to the report’s release, but that didn’t keep them from buying actively in response to the news. The indicated 10 million bushel drop in the U.S. carryout was indicative of the bullish nature of the results, especially since occurred despite a predicted surge in imports. May soybeans jumped 12.75 cents to $14.9525/bushel at their Wednesday close, while May soyoil leapt 0.80 cents to 42.91 cents/pound, and May soymeal gained $4.0 to $482.1/ton.

The wheat markets were hurt by the USDA numbers. Today’s WASDE report indicated the wheat outlook had declined, with a 30-million bushel cut in its feed usage figure causing a commensurate increase in the U.S. carryout forecast. Global carryout was also raised. The fact that current winter wheat conditions are not conducive to a bumper crop probably limited the bearish reaction. May CBOT wheat futures fell 12.0 cents to $6.69/bushel in late Wednesday trading, while May KCBT wheat futures tumbled 8.25 cents to $7.3325, and May MWE futures lost 10.5 cents to $7.1275.

Nearby cattle futures firmed Wednesday. Beef prices followed Tuesday’s mixed performance with sizeable declines today, but that weakness apparently did little to discourage CME cattle bulls. Today’s Chicago gains may have reflected talk of relatively firm cash prices, especially with the various contracts already trading at sizeable discounts to country values. June cattle futures settled 0.35 cents higher at 135.62 cents/pound around Wednesday, while December was flat at 140.55. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle advanced 1.35 cents to 180.22 cents/pound, and August rallied 1.27 to 181.85.

Hog futures bounced from deeply discounted levels. The hog and pork markets seemingly peaked at extreme highs last week and the industry now expects a sustained decline from that top. However, recent losses pushed futures far below current cash levels, which seemingly sparked widespread short covering/bottom picking today. June hog futures bounced 3.00 cents to 121.75 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement, and December rose 0.70 to 89.55.


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