Corn futures closed higher on Wednesday. New crop corn prices rose over 2 percent today to close above $8 again. The trade is now concerned about possible hurricane damage as opposed to drought damage. Hurricane Isaac has reached landfall in the south and traders are concerned that strong winds and heavy rains across the Southeast will damage the corn crop even more as well as hold up corn harvest in the southern states. September corn closed 21 ¼ cents higher at $8.10 ¾, while December corn closed 19 ½ cents higher at $8.15.
Soybean futures closed higher on Wednesday. Soybean futures posted moderate gains as Hurricane Isaac brings heavy rains and strong winds across the southern U.S. which will slowdown this year’s early harvest. Prices continue to see support from brisk demand (especially China) and growing concern over tight supplies. Other bullish news for the market includes, speculation for lower than expected output from South America due to weak El Nino and speculative news that world soybean stocks could approach zero by February. September closed up 30 ¾ cents at $17.62 ¾, while November closed up 32 ¼ cents at $17.54 ½.
Wheat futures closed sharply higher on Wednesday. Wheat futures claimed the market leader title today!! News focusing on the plight of Russian wheat exports pushed wheat futures 3 percent higher midweek. Front month Chicago wheat cleared technical resistance above 30 and 40 day moving averages. The market reacted favorably to news that Russia may cut or restrict exports due to poor wheat production, potentially increasing demand for U.S. wheat. Traders are optimistic that the U.S. could secure business from some of the European and Middle Eastern countries. Wheat futures closed 30 ¾ cents higher at CBOT; 28 ¾ cents higher at KCBT; and 30 ½ cents higher at MGE.
Live cattle futures closed impressively higher on Wednesday. Cattle futures soared on renewed buying interest as corn prices jumped above $8 again. Nearby cattle futures were up over $1 at midsession despite soft wholesale beef prices and sluggish demand ahead of the Labor Day holiday. Concerning the cash market, trade remains undeveloped but preliminary asking prices are holding firm at $123 in the South and $193 in the North. October cattle closed up $1.75 at $125.60 and December closed up $1.22 at $128.50.
Lean hogs futures closed higher on Wednesday. Initially, the futures traded lower to randomly mixed weighed down by plentiful pork supplies and short term bearish fundamentals. Lower cash hog and wholesale pork prices were also factors that contributed to lower prices early on. However, the tide turned and prices began to garner strength from spillover buying in the cattle complex as well as the upswing in the corn market. However, one such consequence of rising feed costs is herd liquidation which means more pork available but declining prices. Another factor to consider is the continual drop in pork cutouts. Tuesday’s pork cutout value was down $1.46 at $83.26. October closed up 45 cents at $73.70 while December closed up 27 cents at $71.00.