Grain futures are lagging the other ag markets

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Corn futures continued their late slide Wednesday morning. After having reacted very well in response to last Friday’s big USDA reports, corn futures apparently lost their upward momentum Monday and turned lower yesterday. Thus, it isn’t very surprising to see nearby futures testing support associated with short-term moving averages, especially with the domestic and global markets being well supplied at this juncture. March corn declined 3.5 cents to $4.28/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while May lost 3.75 to $4.3575/bushel.

Export news is boosting the soy complex. Soybeans and meal came under selling pressure early this morning, but were being supported by strength spilling over from an overnight bounce in palm oil prices. Bulls then got good news from the USDA, which announced that China had bought 106,000 tonnes for delivery this year. March soybeans climbed 6.0 cents to $13.13/bushel by late Wednesday morning, while March soyoil added 0.19 cents to 37.95 cents/pound, and March soymeal gained $2.1 to $432.2/ton.

Corn losses seemingly weighed upon wheat as well. Although wheat traders were talking about the potential for another arctic blast over the Midwest (and its winter wheat fields) later this month, the golden grain markets followed corn lower Wednesday morning. Ideas that cheap corn will prevent most wheat feeding during the coming months reportedly dragged prices downward. March CBOT wheat futures fell 5.0 cents to $5.7425/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while March KCBT wheat futures tumbled 3.5 cents to $6.285, and March MWE futures skidded 1.75 to $6.1975.

Cattle futures are following through on Tuesday’s bullish breakout. Cash cattle and wholesale beef markets have been setting records lately and were joined by nearby live cattle futures at an all-time high yesterday. Tuesday’s 4.0-cent plus leap in wholesale quotes rather clearly spurred Chicago prices even higher this morning. February cattle futures jumped 0.85 cents to 138.50 cents/pound in late Wednesday morning action, while April futures surged 0.85 to 138.65. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures leapt 1.00 cent to 167.82 cents/pound, and May ran up 0.97 to 169.62.

The hog and pork complex are following cattle and beef higher. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets proved quite strong Tuesday, thereby seeming to spark overnight CME gains. Of course, strength spilling over from the cattle and beef markets is encouraging bulls as well. However, the midsession pork quote proved surprisingly weak, which probably explains the setback from early highs. February hogs surged 0.70 cents to 86.70 cents/pound as traders started thinking about lunch Wednesday, while June moved up 0.50 to 101.40.

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