Ag markets widely mixed Wednesday.
Corn futures built on overnight gains Wednesday. Bullish corn traders were reportedly reacting to steady cash quotes this morning, with current harvest delays apparently limiting immediately available supplies. Reports also cited widespread short-covering. Concurrent wheat and soy gains may have encouraged buying as well. December corn futures rose 4.5 cents are $4.4275 at Wednesday’s close, while May futures gained 4.5 cents to $4.6375.
Cash firmness apparently boosted soybeans and meal in Wednesday trading. The combination of strength spilling over from the wheat market and reports of firm country prices, particularly for soymeal, seemingly pushed the soy complex higher Wednesday. Chatter concerning short-term harvest delays probably supported prices. However, soybean oil futures couldn’t build upon strength spilling over from overnight gains in the Asian palm oil market. November soybean futures surged 7.75 cents to $13.10/bushel as Wednesday’s session ended, while December soyoil dipped 0.02 cents to 41.50 cents/pound, and December soymeal advanced $5.3 to $421.4/ton.
Talk of a tightening global situation seemed to provide persistent support for the wheat markets. Bullish wheat traders continue citing the potential for strong demand from Brazil and China. Conversely, the impact of crop problems in the Black Sea region and Argentina might be exaggerated if the latest forecasts for potential drought in Australia prove accurate. However, the big setbacks form early highs may bode ill for short-term price prospects. December CBOT wheat futures closed up 1.0 cent at $7.0175/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December KCBT wheat futures rallied 5.25 cents to $7.7075 and December MWE futures moved up 2.5 cents to $7.5875.
Seasonal concerns may have robbed the cattle market of upward momentum Wednesday. Cash prices surged to records around $132/cwt (cents/pound) this morning, which might easily have sent cattle futures soaring. Instead, winter-spring CME prices turned mostly lower, which probably reflected industry concerns about the market’s history of late-October weakness as grocers begin shifting their attention to hams and turkeys for Thanksgiving. December cattle settled 0.22 cents lower at 132.75 in late-Wednesday action, while April lost 0.50 to 135.00. November feeder cattle sank 0.22 cents to 167.62 cents/pound and January feeders dropped 0.45 to 167.57.
Talk of cash and wholesale weakness apparently undercut hog futures. Although traders in the hog and pork complex are expecting substantial seasonal weakness through much of late 2013, cash prices fell significantly for a second straight day Tuesday. Pork prices also dropped at midday. The losses may signal greater downside potential than was previously anticipated, especially if forthcoming supplies meet larger USDA forecasts. December hog futures tumbled 0.42 cents to 88.15 cents/pound late in Wednesday’s Chicago session, while April inched up 0.05 cents to 90.60 cents/pound.