Various ag markets diverged significantly Wednesday

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Favorable weather forecasts apparently depressed grain futures Wednesday. Although this week’s rains are clearly delaying corn plantings, the latest forecasts imply another big planting window next week. Wire service reports suggested most farmers could complete their corn seedings as a result, which would probably improve fall harvest prospects. July corn sank 7.25 cents to $4.955/bushel in closing Wednesday action, while December slumped 6.0 cents to $4.89.

Talk of vigorous demand reversed morning bean and meal losses. The likely opening of another wide planting window next week apparently depressed soybean and meal futures this morning. But growing talk of vigorous soy demand brought them back above unchanged levels by early afternoon. Asian palm strength supported soyoil values all day. July soybeans settled 3.0 cents higher at $14.8675/bushel Wednesday, while July soyoil rallied 0.17 to 41.38 cents/pound, and July soymeal gained $1.8 to $486.5/ton.

Weather news also weighed on wheat markets today. The southern Plains are reportedly getting some greatly needed rainfall this week, which apparently weighed heavily upon winter wheat futures today. Conversely, next week’s anticipated dryness could allow farmers to accelerate spring wheat plantings in the Northern Plains. Thus, MWE prices also came under selling pressure. July CBOT wheat futures plunged 18.75 cents to $6.905/bushel in late Wednesday trading, while July KCBT wheat futures dove 18.5 cents to $8.0625, and July MWE futures dropped 16.5 to $7.7825.

Cattle futures seemingly posted a belated reaction to rising beef values. Big discounts built into nearby cattle futures show traders are anticipating sizeable seasonal losses during the coming weeks. That may also explain the muted Tuesday reaction to big wholesale beef gains. However, futures are climbed Wednesday despite midsession beef slippage. The CME discounts may also have encouraged buying. June cattle advanced 0.45 cents to 137.45 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement, while December rallied 0.67 to 144.95. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle surged 0.77 cents to 192.45 cents/pound, and October jumped 1.15 cents to 193.62.

Wholesale gains may have sparked Wednesday’s CME hog strength. Cash hog prices proved quite strong Tuesday, but the Chicago market reaction was probably limited by concurrent wholesale weakness. In contrast, pork prices rose strongly this morning, which apparently exaggerated bullish ideas about the short-term outlook. Smithfield commentary about the outlook probably encouraged bulls as well. June hogs leapt 0.97 cents to 120.57 cents/pound as Wednesday’s pit session ended, but December suffered a surprising 1.00-cent drop to 93.30.

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