Corn futures closed slightly lower on Wednesday. The market was pressured by strength in the dollar, weakness in crude oil and some much needed rainfall in Argentina. But losses were limited by ideas that despite the rainfall, yield potential has already been limited by the hot and dry weather. Forecasts call for more hot and dry weather after the current front moves through the region. Traders were evening positions ahead of the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning. March ended 1/2 of a cent lower at $6.51 1/2 and May was 1 cent lower at $6.58 1/4.
Soybean futures ended strongly lower on Wednesday. The market was pressured by rainfall in Argentina and outside markets. The rainfall will help ease crop stress in Argentina that has developed due to hot and dry conditions. Strength in the dollar index and weakness in crude oil were also bearish factors. In addition, some traders were positioning for USDA reports due out on Thursday morning. January closed 26 1/4 cents lower at $11.97 1/2 and March was 29 cents lower at $12.03.
Wheat futures traded higher on Wednesday. The market turned slightly higher as traders were positioning ahead of the Supply/Demand report. USDA will release supply/demand and winter wheat seedings estimates on Thursday morning. Trade expectations are for USDA to estimate winter wheat acreage at 41 million, up from 40.7 million acres in 2011. The market rallied despite strength in the dollar index. CBOT March closed 1 1/4 cents higher at $6.41, KCBT March ended 3 3/4 cents higher at $7.01 3/4 and MGE March was 4 1/4 cents higher at $8.16 1/2.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Wednesday. The February contract turned slightly higher on ideas of steady cash trade this week. Packer processing margins are negative, but firm beef prices and smaller showlists this week could support the cash market. But deferred contracts were pressured by profit-taking from the gains on Tuesday and outside market pressure. February ended 13 cents higher at $121.33 while April was 15 cents lower at $125.30.
Lean hog futures traded sharply lower on Wednesday. Declining pork prices and the weak tone in the cash market pressured the market. Pork prices were down $1.35 on Tuesday, declining to nearly a one-year low. Strength in the dollar index was also a bearish factor. However, there remains optimism for strong pork exports this year especially with more foot-and-mouth disease found in China. February closed $1.40 lower at $82.90 and April was $1.55 lower at $85.80.