Grain markets mixed on Wednesday after WASDE report

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Corn futures fluctuated wildly just after the WASDE report was released Wednesday, but ultimately sustained the modest gains posted Tuesday night. The initial post-report price surge apparently resulted from a surprisingly low U.S. stocks estimate for the end of the current crop year. Conversely, the USDA also boosted its forecast for global corn stockpiles later this year, which dragged prices back down. News that U.S. ethanol production jumped last week probably powered the late rise. May corn settled 4.25 cents higher at $6.49/bushel Wednesday, while December rose 2.75 cents to $5.43.

The soybean market rallied initially in response to WASDE results indicating larger U.S. crushings and exports during the months ahead. However, prices turned decidedly lower soon thereafter, since the USDA forecast global soybean carryout well above pre-report estimates. May soybeans dipped 3.0 cents to $13.9275/bushel at their Wednesday close, while May soyoil gained 0.07 cents to 50.03 cents/pound, and May meal edged $3.6 lower to $392.9/ton.

Wheat futures also swung rather dramatically in reaction to the USDA WASDE report. The immediate rise probably marked spillover strength from the corn and soy markets, due in part to the fact that the U.S. wheat stocks figure virtually matched pre-report forecasts. But having the USDA also boost its predicted global carryout above all pre-report estimates apparently depressed prices May CBOT wheat futures dropped 12.0 cents to $6.9675/bushel to end their Wednesday session, while May KCBT wheat dove 16.5 cents to $7.30, and May MGE futures tumbled 15.25 cents to $7.845.

Cattle futures were mixed to lower Wednesday morning. Early trader concerns about disappointing cash prices were fulfilled by late morning, when wire service reports indicated that country prices had dipped one cent/pound to the 127.00 cent/pound area. Given the time of year, with cattle and beef supplies growing seasonally, they may believe the 128-cent prices posted last week will represent their spring 2013 peak. Futures turned sharply lower in the wake of the cash news. June cattle plunged 1.70 cents to 120.00 cents/pound at their Wednesday close, while December sank 1.82 cents to 126.65. May feeder cattle futures plummeted 2.42 cents to 142.32 cents/pound, and August crashed 2.40 cents to 149.17.

Ongoing cash firmness seemed to boost hog futures again Wednesday; afternoon reports stated western Corn Belt prices almost two cents higher on the day. However, CME prices backed away from their early highs around mid-morning, which probably reflected concurrent weakness in the cattle pit. The lightly traded May hog contract advanced 0.45 cents to 87.55 cents/pound at its Wednesday afternoon settlement, while the June contract slid 0.35 cents to 89.50.


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