Crop markets were steady-to-higher Wednesday morning

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Corn futures returned to their former pattern late Wednesday morning. That is, the tightness of the old crop situation seemed to support the nearby contracts, especially after the weekly EIA report indicated strong ethanol production. However, deferred futures seemed to turn downward in response to the storm system now making its way across the eastern Corn Belt. On the other hand, traders probably still expect forthcoming dryness to boosted new crop prices in the days ahead. September corn futures rose 4.0 cents to $5.5575/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while December added 1.25 cents to $5.23.

Soybean and meal prices remained quite firm Wednesday morning. Old crop supply tightness continued dominating the nearby contracts, whereas ongoing concerns about the impact of dry summer weather apparently sparked fresh buying of the deferred contracts. The oil market resumed its struggles against weak Asian vegetable oil prices and bearish leverage arising from the crush situation. August soybean futures climbed 10.25 cents to $14.785/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while August soymeal advanced $5.8 to $454.7/ton, and August soybean oil rose 0.07 cents to 47.09 cents/pound.

Wheat traders apparently think recent gains will strangle Chinese buying. Late news of Chinese buying and hopes for much more of the same have rather obviously boosted wheat futures lately. However, the industry is now reportedly worried that the bullish response will discourage Asian buyers. Those concerns seemingly outweighed the bullish impact of persistently dry weather forecasts over the western Plains. September CBOT wheat edged upward 0.75 cents to $6.7825/bushel in late Wednesday morning activity, while September KCBT wheat inched up 0.75 cent to $7.045, and September MGE futures were slipped 0.25 cents to $7.685.

Nearby cattle futures led the complex modestly lower Wednesday morning. That may indicate bullish traders are giving up on previously held ideas that the cash market had reached its summer low. Tuesday afternoon slippage in choice cutout values may have persuaded them that packers will prove able to keep spot prices under downward pressure. Feeders bounced from early lows after corn prices set back. August cattle declined 0.55 cents to 122.17 cents/pound around lunchtime Wednesday, while December skidded 0.22 cents to 128.45. August feeder futures dropped 0.37 cents to 150.77 cents/pound, and November dipped 0.07 cents to 156.10.

Hog futures apparently bounced form technical support Wednesday. After testing support associated with its 40-day moving average Tuesday, most-active August lean hog futures moved higher this morning. The fact that the CME lean hog index remains at a substantial premium to Chicago prices almost surely exaggerated the bounce. August hog futures rallied 0.62 cents to 95.80 cents/pound around midsession Wednesday, while the December contract rebounded 0.77 cents to 81.87.

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