Corn futures closed sharply higher on Wednesday. Ideas that USDA will lower ending stocks projections in the Supply/Demand report on Thursday morning and strength in crude oil futures helped push prices higher. Trade expectations are for USDA to the lower 2010/11 ending stocks to around 715 million bushels and cut 2011/12 ending stocks to 800 million bushels. Ethanol stocks were reported to be at their lowest level in six weeks. July ended 27 1/2 cents higher at $7.64 and December was 17 1/4 cents higher at $6.93 3/4.   


Soybean futures traded higher on Wednesday. Spillover strength from corn and ideas of less soybean acreage helped the market rebound from early weakness. Flooding and planting delays could trim soybean acreage from the planting intentions of 75.7 million acres. USDA will release a new Supply/Demand report on Thursday morning. Trade expectations are for USDA to only make small changes to the ending stocks projections and instead will wait and see what the acreage report says at the end of the month. July closed 7 1/2 cents higher at $14.01 1/2 and November was 7 1/4 cents higher at $13.92 1/2.


Wheat futures closed higher on Wednesday. The market was supported by the rally in corn and ideas that USDA will forecast a smaller winter wheat crop on Thursday morning in the Supply/Demand report. Poor conditions in the southern and western Plains are expected to trim wheat production estimates. The average trade estimate for wheat production is 1.982 billion bushels, down 3% from the May estimate and 10% below last year’s crop. CBOT July ended 14 1/4 cents higher at $7.48, KCBT July was 10 1/2 cents higher at $8.85 and MGE July closed 36 3/4 cents higher at $10.21 1/2.  


Cattle futures closed higher on Wednesday. Reports of cash trade developing at $105-$106 in Texas and Kansas helped push futures higher after trading lower this morning. Packer margins remain favorable despite recent weakness in boxed beef prices. June ended 53 cents higher at $104.00 and August was 10 cents higher at $104.55.


Lean hog futures traded mostly higher on Wednesday. Reports of increased export business, particularly with South Korea, helped push futures higher. Pork cutouts were up 77 cents on Tuesday and packer margins have improved slightly. Cash trade was steady to lower today as most packers have needs covered for the week, but there are ideas that cash prices will stabilize next week. The soon to expire June contract closed 8 cents higher at $89.70 and July was $1.85 higher at $91.35.