Corn futures are 3 to 5 cents lower at midday. The corn market is marking time, awaiting USDA’s Crop Production and supply/demand reports on Friday. Light rain is forecast for portions of the Corn Belt over the next few days which is weighing on grain markets generally. Weekly ethanol production edged up 1% from the previous week to 817k barrels per day, but down 10% from a year ago.
Soybean futures have been trading mixed this morning. As of 11:00 am CDT, midday, September soybean futures are trading 4 cents higher, while November is steady. But prices have spent some time on the negative side, too. USDA reports August production prospects on Friday morning. Because of the historic drought and ongoing worries about the weather, the soybean market remains highly sensitive to differing views on the forecasts of weather and its impact on the production prospects. Late morning forecast model updates may shape the course of prices into the close. USDA announced an overnight sale of 140,000 mmt to unknown.
Wheat futures are under pressure trading 12-13 cents lower in Chicago. KC futures are about 15 cents lower at midday. Russia indicated they have no plan to restrict wheat imports. While the news is weighing on prices, Russian and Black Sea wheat exports overall will be down due to drought and reduced supply. The trade will be eyeing USDA’s global supply and demand balance closely on Friday for adjustments.
Live cattle futures are 75 to 160 points higher at midsession with gains led by the nearby contracts. Tuesday’s boxed beef prices were reported $1.41 higher at $179.90, while select jumped $1.55 at $173.95. Higher beef prices are positive for CME futures and may also provide support to cash price trade expected Thursday/Friday.
Lean hog futures are trading mixed at midday. Cash hog prices were higher on Tuesday, but bids are reported to be steady to lower on Wednesday morning. Lower corn prices are also putting some pressure on hog futures. There is light trade volume on Wednesday and so far prices have moved in a very narrow trading range. The trend is clearly down, with most contracts at or near their life-of-contract lows. At midday the October contract is trading at $75.70, up 78 cents. December is up 60 cents at $73.85.