Corn futures closed lower on Wednesday following a choppy trading session. Spillover strength from soybeans and wheat helped push prices higher much of the day, but corn turned lower once wheat turned lower and soybeans gains were trimmed. Strength in the dollar and ad technical selling developed to push prices lower. Underlying support is coming from ideas that the proposed tax bill will contain an extension for the ethanol tax bill. March ended 3 cents lower at $5.84 1/4 and May was 2 3/4 cents lower at $5.92 1/4.
Soybean futures ended higher on Wednesday, but gains were trimmed into the close. Spot month prices rallied to the highest level in a month on technical buying and reports of fresh export business with China. Soybean meal was also supportive to the soy complex on ideas that cold weather will increase feed demand. But gains were trimmed by strength in the dollar. January closed 1/2 of a cent higher at $12.96 1/2 and March was 1 3/4 cents higher at $13.07 3/4.
Wheat futures settled mixed on Wednesday. The market was supported most of the day by fresh export business. USDA reported the sales of 110,000 tonnes of HRW to Egypt and Jordan bought 150,000 tonnes of HRW wheat from the U.S. However, the market turned mixed with strength in the MGE March ended 3/4 of a cent lower at $8.42 3/4.
Cattle closed lower on Wednesday as traders wait for direction from the cash market. Wholesale beef prices had been holding up relatively well, but choice cutouts were down $2.17 at midday. Beef demand is expected to slow seasonally during the holidays. The lower cutouts could pressure cash trade this week. December closed 23 cents lower at $101.60 and February was 63 cents lower at $103.90.
Lean hog futures traded solidly lower on Wednesday. The premium of futures to cash and steady to lower cash bids this morning weighed on the futures market. Pork prices were up 93 cents on Tuesday, but there is concern that pork prices will soften as demand slows seasonally during the holidays. February closed 93 cents lower at $75.20 and April was 83 cents lower at $79.23.