Corn futures closed lower on Wednesday. Forecasts for some improved weather and planting conditions in the Midwest along with weak demand prospects weighed on the market. Warmer temperatures and some dry time is forecasts for the Corn Belt, although forecasts call for more chances of rain in the southern and eastern Corn Belt this weekend and early next week. May closed 9 3/4 cents lower at $3.84 1/2 and December was 9 1/2 cents lower at $4.15 1/4.



Soybean futures were mostly higher on Wednesday, although the May contract turned lower late due to profit-taking from 3 month highs. Strong soy demand from China and tight old-crop stocks continue to be fundamentally supportive factors. Soybean oil is supporting the soy complex as it is benefiting from the rally in world vegetable oil prices. May closed 1 cent lower at $10.35 while Nov was 3/4 of a cent higher at $9.40.



Wheat futures settled lower on Wednesday. Short-covering supported wheat prices some of the session, but bearish weather pushed prices lower into the close. Beneficial rainfall is expected in the central and southern Plains over the next couple of days while spring wheat planting progress will benefit from drier weather this weekend and next week in the northern Plains. CBOT May closed 7 cents lower at $5.15 1/4, KCBT May was 4 1/2 cents lower at $5.60 and MGE May settled 2 1/2 cents lower at $6.27 1/4.



Cattle futures ended strongly higher on Wednesday. Rising beef prices and optimism for firm cash trade this week pushed futures higher. Boxed beef prices were up strongly on Tuesday and Choice cutouts were up another $3.39 at midday, hitting the highest level since late January. Reports of some higher cash trade in Nebraska should help southern Plains feedlots build on last week's $86 trade. April ended $1.08 higher at $87.43 and June ended 98 cents higher at $74.78.



Lean hog futures closed higher on Wednesday. Spillover strength from cattle and the stock market helped support futures trade. Steady to firm cash markets and recent gains in pork cutouts provided fundamental support. The large premium of futures to cash initially held back gains in the now nearby May contract, before turning higher in the afternoon. May closed 3 cents higher at $57.35, June was 23 cents higher at $71.40.