Livestock futures turned volatile Wednesday morning

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Rainy forecasts may be limiting corn losses. Although the outlook for the fall corn harvest looks very favorable, recent rainfall in the western Corn Belt has concerns about excessive moisture and flooding. The latest forecasts imply more of the same over the next two weeks, thereby curtailing early losses. July corn had slipped 1.5 cents to $4.415/bushel by late Wednesday morning, while December sank 0.75 to $4.40.

The soy complex remains mixed around midsession Wednesday. Soybean news is rather sparse at the moment, which may largely explain the narrowly mixed nature of today’s CBOT action. Beans and meal advanced moderately, possibly due to worries about excessive rainfall over the western Corn Belt. In contrast, flat palm oil prices seem to be undercutting the oil market. July soybeans gained 1.5 cents to $14.15/bushel shortly before lunchtime Wednesday, while July soyoil dropped 0.16 cents to 40.81 cents/pound, and July soymeal added $1.3 to $449.7/ton.

The prospect of wet weather may also be boosting the wheat markets. Wheat futures reversed modest overnight losses this morning, thereby seeming to reflect growing concerns about the quality of the domestic crop amid ongoing rainfall. The KC market led the way higher as traders worried about rains as the Kansas harvest hits its stride. July CBOT wheat futures advanced 2.75 cents to $5.7375/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while July KCBT wheat surged 5.75 cents to $7.1125, but July MWE futures sagged 1.25 to $6.7525.

Cattle futures have set back from early highs. Beef cutouts seemed to lose their upward momentum Tuesday and may have signaled a forthcoming decline as grocers complete their Independence Day purchases. Anticipation of seasonal weakness and the concurrent hog breakdown caused a sizeable drop from early highs. August cattle had risen 1.02 cents to 150.75 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, while December rallied 0.60 to 154.52. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle jumped 1.37 cents to 212.00 cents/pound, and October leapt 1.12 to 213.47.

Position squaring apparently undercut hog futures. Surging cash hog and wholesale pork markets provided vigorous support for nearby hog futures as Wednesday’s CME session got underway. However, bulls seemed to begin squaring positions and liquidating profitable long positions in preparation for Friday’s quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report. Prices broke sharply as a result. August hog futures plunged 2.52 cents to 128.55 in early Wednesday trading, while December plummeted 2.70 cents to 95.20.

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