Soy, cotton futures led the ag markets Wednesday morning
Continued talk of accelerated plantings is depressing corn futures. Although surging soy prices are likely supporting the corn market, forecasts for persistent short-term dryness have persuaded traders that Midwest plantings will accelerated during the days ahead. The resulting sales, along with weak technical conditions, seem to be depressing CBOT prices. May corn sank 5.25 cents to $4.985/bushel late Wednesday morning, while December dipped 3.5 to $4.9975.
Talk of vigorous demand is boosting 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. That news powered prices higher yesterday and again overnight. However, beans and meal backed away from early highs. May soybeans surged 16.0 cents to $15.1725/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while May soyoil jumped 0.82 cents to 43.65 cents/pound, and May soymeal added $3.4 to $490.8/ton.
The wheat markets were little changed Wednesday morning. The Russia-Ukraine situation is probably supporting wheat futures, but prices have seemingly stalled. The fact that weather conditions aren’t looking as bad as might have been the case may be robbing the market of bullish momentum after Tuesday’s big move. May CBOT wheat futures inched 0.25 cent lower to $7.015/bushel in late Wednesday morning action, while May KCBT wheat futures stabilized at $7.655, as did May MWE futures at $7.385.
Tuesday’s cash cattle news had mixed implications. Although CME cattle traders expect a seasonal cash market decline during the coming days and weeks, they seem confused by the latest news. That is, having a few cattle change hands at slightly lower prices suggested price weakness, but having packers pay up at this point suggests strong cattle demand. June cattle futures skidded 0.05 cents to 135.37 cents/pound shortly before lunchtime Wednesday, while December slid 0.20 to 139.65. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle stumbled 0.27 cents to 179.50 cents/pound, and August lost 0.17 to 182.40.
Hog futures firmed in the face of fresh selling. Anticipation of seasonal strength has been supporting the hog and pork complex lately, with bulls apparently thinking prices will come back from recent losses. cash and wholesale prices dove Tuesday afternoon, but talk of renewed firmness appeared to bring the market back from overnight lows. June hog futures slipped 0.22 cents to 122.30 cents/pound by late Wednesday morning, while December dropped 0.35 to 88.35.
Forecasts for reduced Chinese plantings may be spurring cotton buying. Last night officials with a Chinese industry association predicted the nation’s 2014 cotton plantings will fall 12% short of last year, thereby implying a commensurate cut in forthcoming production and improving price prospects. May cotton rallied 0.59 cents to 90.51 cents/pound around midday Wednesday, while December cotton ran up 0.77 to 81.67.