Rain may be sinking the crop markets. Although underlying demand has played a sizeable role in boosting corn prices lately, persistent dryness over the central U.S. has also encouraged new crop buying. Thus, current rains across the south-central U.S. and forecasts for more of the same are apparently boosting production prospects and weighing upon prices. May corn fell 15.0 cents at $4.925/bushel late Wednesday morning, while December declined 11.5 to $4.94.
The soy complex reversed from early highs. Talk of domestic supply tightness pushed soybean futures higher last night, with oil values actually leading the way upward. However, ongoing rains and forecasts for more of the same over the next two weeks seemingly caused a midmorning reversal. Technical selling is probably exaggerating the subsequent decline. May soybeans dropped 17.75 cents to $14.6675/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while May soyoil dipped 0.22 cents to 41.18 cents/pound, and May soymeal slumped $7.5 to $475.2/ton.
Improved weather forecasts are also depressing the wheat markets. Significant portions of the central U.S. got rain last night and more precipitation is expected later in the day. When combined with the potential for good rains by mid-month, it isn’t terribly surprising to see wheat futures suffering another round of losses today. May CBOT wheat futures plunged 19.25 cents to $6.66/bushel in late Wednesday morning action, while May KCBT wheat futures dove 18.0 cents to $7.355 and May MWE futures tumbled 10.25 cents to $7.25.
Cattle futures turned mixed Wednesday morning. CME cattle prices rose significantly Tuesday night despite a surprising afternoon drop in beef values. Traders may be anticipating late-week strength as the industry gears up for planned early-May beef features. However, futures turned mixed by late morning, which may have reflected diminished optimism about the short-term wholesale outlook. June cattle futures gained 0.27 cents to 136.75 cents/pound just before midday Wednesday, while December lost 0.02 to 139.97. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle rose 0.80 cents to 177.57 cents/pound, and August ran up 0.80 to 179.17.
Suspicions of a looming top may be sinking hog futures. The hog and pork complex has exhibited astonishing strength lately, with sharp production cuts being met by apparent panic buying from processors and grocers. However, the bull run may be close to ending, which in turn may have prompted the sharp late-morning reversal. June hog futures plummeted 2.67 cents to 124.92 cents/pound late Wednesday morning, while December dove 0.95 to 90.20.