Corn futures traded steady to slightly lower on Wednesday. Profit-taking from recent gains and outside markets weighed lightly on the market. Strength in the dollar index was a bearish factor. However, losses were limited by continued hot and dry weather in Argentina again this week and concern about stress to the corn crop. March closed unchanged at $6.58 1/2 and May was 1/4 of a cent lower at $6.66 3/4.
Soybean futures closed higher on Wednesday. Despite some early profit-taking weakness and outside market pressure, futures turned higher today. The market found support from hot and dry weather forecasts this week for southern Brazil and Argentina due to concern about crop stress for the soybean crop. But gains were limited by strength in the dollar index and some profit-taking from the two-month high set on Tuesday. January ended 3 1/4 cents higher at $12.21 1/2 and March was 2 1/2 cents higher at $12.30.
Wheat futures were mixed on Wednesday. Strength in the dollar index and profit-taking weighed on CBOT wheat after the market rallied to a three-month high on Tuesday. Sluggish export demand remains a concern as global supply/demand fundamentals remain bearish. The KCBT turned slightly higher on concern about the HRW wheat crop and the MGE was mixed. CBOT March closed 7 cents lower at $6.50, KCBT March was 1 1/2 cents higher at $7.14 and MGE March fell 5 1/4 cents to $8.39.
Cattle futures closed slightly higher on Wednesday. The market was choppy today as traders remain uncertain about the cash market. Bullish traders were driven by ideas of steady or firm cash trade as packers are short-bought for regular slaughter schedules moving forward following the holidays. But gains were limited by sluggish beef sales and larger showlists this week. February closed 8 cents higher at $121.63 and April was 23 cents higher at $125.50.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Wednesday. The market turned lower on profit-taking from the gains on Tuesday. But losses were limited by ideas that pork and cash prices are near a seasonal low. Pork prices were up $1.05 yesterday and packers have upped bids for hogs to help fill slaughter schedules the remainder of the week. February closed 35 cents lower at $85.18 and April was 70 cents lower at $87.75.