Grain futures lagged the other ag markets Wednesday

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Continued talk of improved planting conditions depressed corn futures Wednesday. Although surging soy prices probably proved supportive of the corn market, forecasts for persistent short-term dryness have persuaded traders that Midwest plantings will accelerate during the days ahead. The resulting sales, along with weak technical conditions, seemed to depress CBOT prices. May corn sank 6.25 cents to $4.975/bushel Wednesday, while December dipped 4.25 to $4.99.

Talk of vigorous demand again boosted the soy complex. Tuesday’s NOPA crush report showed strong U.S. activity last month and implied that U.S. demand for soybeans and products remains extremely strong. After rallying strongly yesterday, the soy complex followed through to the upside today. May soybeans surged 17.5 cents to $15.1875/bushel at their Wednesday close, while May soyoil jumped 0.88 cents to 43.71 cents/pound, and May soymeal added $3.6 to $491.0/ton.

The wheat markets turned downward Wednesday afternoon. The Russia-Ukraine situation likely offered support for U.S. wheat futures today, but prices turned decisively lower in afternoon action. The drop reportedly reflected forecasts for improved rainfall over the Plains during the days ahead. May CBOT wheat futures plunged 13.75 cents to $6.88/bushel in late Wednesday action, while May KCBT wheat futures tumbled 11.0 cents to $7.545, and May MWE futures dove 12.0 to $7.265.

Cattle futures reacted well to the latest market news. A few Nebraska cattle changed hands at slightly lower prices Tuesday afternoon. Traders found that less than supportive Wednesday morning, but midsession news of modest wholesale gains seemed to encourage them. June cattle futures settled 0.20 cents higher at 135.62 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while December rose 0.12 to 139.97. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle edged up 0.12 cents to 179.90 cents/pound, and August added 0.40 to 182.97.

Wholesale strength boosted hog futures Wednesday. Big Tuesday afternoon cash and wholesale losses weighed on hog futures overnight, but talk of renewed strength seemingly allowed the market to stabilize this morning. Futures then move strongly higher in response to late morning news of large pork gains. June hog futures vaulted 1.25 cents to 123.77 cents/pound as Wednesday’s CME session ended, while December skidded 0.20 to 88.50.

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