Corn futures were strongly higher on Wednesday. Forecast call for more adverse weather for planting in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains. Flooding in the south could also trim some acreage. Yield prospects are declining as the optimal planting dates have passed and some acreage intended for corn could be switched to soybeans. The sharp rally in crude oil also helped trigger fund buying, which extended the gains. July closed 29 1/2 cents higher at $7.49 3/4 and December was 19 1/2 cents higher at $6.72 3/4.
Soybean futures closed sharply higher on Wednesday. Spillover support from corn, the sharp rally in crude oil and planting delays pushed prices higher. More rain is forecast for the eastern Corn Belt. While that could push some acreage intended for corn to soybeans, it could also trim soybean yield potential if delays continue. Fund buying was also triggered today by the strong rally in crude oil, which was up nearly $3 per barrel. July closed 38 1/2 cents higher at $13.79 1/2 and November was 32 3/4 cents higher at $13.53 1/4.
Wheat futures traded sharply higher on Wednesday. Crop problems in the U.S. and France helped the market shoot up today. Deteriorating winter wheat conditions in the U.S. and the slow pace of spring wheat planting remain bullish factors. In addition, wheat production estimates for France continue to fall due to drought. A French analyst recently estimated the 2011 crop will be down 11.5% from last year. CBOT July closed 53 cents higher at $8.17, KCBT July was 43 1/2 cents higher at $9.38 and MGE July was 60 cents higher at $9.96 1/4.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Wednesday. Front end contract were pressured by some lower cash trade so far this week and spillover weakness from the lean hog pit. There is concern about domestic beef demand as cool and wet weather across much of the U.S. slows demand at a time when the grilling season usually supports demand. Deferreds were higher on support from the rally in corn and ideas that more expensive feed could curb beef production. June closed $1.50 lower at $106.25 and August was 13 cents lower at $109.18.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Wednesday. Lower pork prices on Tuesday and ideas that pork prices have topped for now weighed on the market. With wholesalers completing purchases for Memorial Day, cutout values are expected to fall. Fund selling helped extend front end losses. Losses in deferred contracts were limited by the strong rally in corn. June closed $2.23 lower at $91.65 and July was $1.48 lower at $91.55.