Corn futures closed lower on Wednesday. Technical selling weighed due to the lack of bullish news to support the market. New-crop futures have been being pressured by ideas of increased acreage this spring. Also, current weather forecasts for much of the Corn Belt look favorable for early planting progress as temperatures are expected to be above normal. May closed 5 1/2 cents lower at $6.42 and December is 4 1/4 cents lower at $5.56.
Soybean futures were solidly higher on Wednesday. The market was able to rebound from the losses posted earlier this week. Strong demand and the declining production estimates for the South American soybean crop remain bullish factors. The China National Grain and Oils Information Center expects China to import around 29 million metric tons of soybeans in the first half of the year, a quarter more than the same time last year. May closed 10 cents higher at $13.55 and November was 10 1/2 cents higher at $13.17 3/4.
Wheat futures traded lower on Wednesday. The market was pressured by favorable weather conditions for the winter wheat crop and the bearish global supply/demand outlook. Warm and wet weather in the Plains and parts of the Midwest will help winter wheat conditions and growth. Spillover pressure from corn and the dollar index turning higher during the day also weighed on prices. CBOT May ended 6 1/4 cents lower at $6.36 1/4, KCBT May fell 5 1/2 cents to close at $6.75 and MGE May fell 1/2 of a cent to $7.98 3/4.
Cattle futures traded higher on Wednesday. After trading lower for five sessions, short-covering helped push futures higher. Cash cattle began to trade at $126 in the southern Plains, which was steady with the previous week. The cash trade was up $1-$2 from earlier in the week and indicated that processors were in need of supplies to fill slaughter schedules. April closed 43 cents higher at $124.95 and June was 50 cents higher at $121.95.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on Wednesday. Light short-covering supported the nearby contract following recent weakness. But gains were limited and most deferred contracts were lower on pressure from the $1.58 drop in pork cutout values on Tuesday. Packer margins are poor and pork prices have slipped to the lowest level since January, 2011. April ended 3 cents higher at $84.98 while June was 45 cents lower at $92.20.