Corn futures were supported by beans and wheat Wednesday. Little news concerning corn emerged today, which seemingly caused traders to focus on technical factors and concurrent strength in the bean and wheat markets. The fact that the nearby contracts pushed above their 10-day moving averages seemed to encourage additional buying. May corn gained 1.5 cents to $4.8775/bushel Wednesday, while December rose 1.0 to $4.8875.
Talk of robust demand boosted beans and meal again Wednesday. Soybean and meal futures continued Tuesday’s strong advance today, with wire service sources citing persistently strong demand and tightening domestic supplies for the move. Traders reportedly expect a low total on the March 31 USDA Grain Stocks report. Oil futures proved unable to sustain strength spilling over from the Asian palm markets Tuesday night. May soybeans surged 13.0 cents to $14.3125/bushel at Wednesday’s close, while May soyoil sagged 0.17 cents to 42.10 cents/pound, and May soymeal advanced $6.2 at $462.0/ton.
The wheat markets turned strongly higher again today. After trading in mixed fashion overnight, wheat futures surged rather dramatically as the day progressed. Concerns about U.S. winter wheat conditions probably amplified the Chicago and Kansas City gains, whereas suspicions of substantially reduced 2014 Black Sea production appeared to power spring wheat prices upward. May CBOT wheat futures jumped 23.25 cents to $7.1575/bushel in late Wednesday action, while May KCBT wheat futures leapt 25.0 cents to $7.8825 and May MWE futures rallied 19.5 to $7.61.
Nearby cattle futures struggled at old highs. Beef prices posted moderate gains Tuesday, but were decidedly mixed at noon today. Traders are apparently uncertain about likely short-term cash market direction, and today’s beef news wasn’t helpful in that regard. Nearby April futures proved able to top recent chart resistance at the daily close, but market action didn’t seem to impress bulls. April cattle futures closed 0.42 cents higher at 146.12 cents/pound Wednesday, while August slipped 0.05 cents to 135.35. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle sank 0.25 cents to 176.65 cents/pound, but August climbed 0.42 to 179.80.
Hog futures proved quite mixed Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon cash and wholesale reports proved very strong once again, thereby seeming to set the stage for continued CME gains. However, while the nearby April contract and fall-winter futures rose significantly, the mid-year contracts faced consistent downward pressure. We suspect position rolling and spreading caused those disparities. April hogs surged 0.92 cents to 124.25 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement, while June fell 0.75 to 132.25.