News that China had cancelled a purchase of old crop soybeans badly undercut that market Wednesday morning and dragged nearby corn futures downward as well. Conversely, anticipated difficulties in getting the remainder of the new corn crop planted once again supported new crop prices. Prices slowly moved upward from early lows as the day passed. July corn settled just 1.5 cents lower at $6.65/bushel Wednesday, while December surged 14.75 cents to $5.7575.
The USDA announced early Wednesday morning that Chinese officials had cancelled the purchase of 147,000 tonnes of old crop U.S. soybeans, which clearly sent prices sharply lower. Traders worry about more of the same during the weeks ahead, since the old crop situation is expected to get extremely tight by late summer. Ideas that wet weather will force corn acreage into soybeans may also have weighed upon deferred futures. As in the corn pit, futures rebounded from early lows. July soybean futures fell 7.5 cents to $15.0175/bushel at their Wednesday close, while July soyoil dropped 0.91 cents to 48.63 cents/pound; July soybean meal rose $2.0 to $444.3/ton.
Wheat futures proved much less vulnerable to selling spilling over from the soybean market Wednesday morning. Indeed, wire service reports cited potential excesses of moisture across the central Plains for the gains posted at the various wheat markets. One has to wonder if winter wheat concerns supported the Kansas City market. July CBOT wheat futures climbed 9.0 cents to $7.0275/bushel as the pit session ended Wednesday, while July KCBT wheat added 4.25 cent to $7.4775, and July MGE futures gained 9.25 cent to $8.1575.
News that a large Chinese firm is prepared to take over Smithfield Foods seemed to boost the whole livestock complex Wednesday morning. This does not directly affect the cattle market, but it does increase the potential for rising pork exports to that country down the road, which in turn might reduce competition with cattle and beef. A strong result on the noon beef report apparently powered late gains. June cattle rallied 0.62 cents to 121.37 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while December added 0.80 to 126.17. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures gained 0.15 cents to 145.62 cents/pound, and November inched up 0.15 cents to 150.65.
The announcement that a large Chinese firm plans to take over Smithfield Foods boosted CME hog futures Wednesday morning, since it increased the possibility that the Asian giant will import more U.S. pork in the future. Traders obviously felt the increases would occur later rather than sooner, since deferred futures clearly outperformed their nearby counterparts. Indeed, futures gave back large portions of their early gains later in the day. June hog futures settled 0.02 cents higher at 94.72 cents/pound Wednesday, while the December contract surged 0.57 cents to 80.15.