Corn futures ended strongly higher on Wednesday. Short-covering helped rally the market with spillover support coming from the gains in crude oil. The market was also anticipating a strong weekly export sales report on Thursday morning. USDA's Outlook Forum is scheduled for Thursday and Friday and traders are guessing it will show fewer corn acres in favor of more soybeans. March closed 9 1/2 cents higher at $3.63 3/4 and May was 9 1/4 cents higher at $3.72 1/4.



Soybean futures closed lower on Wednesday. The market was pressured by the losses in the stock market and lack of supportive news. There was talk circulating in Chicago that China canceled some soybean purchases, although that has not been confirmed by USDA. Traders were also looking for USDA to release a large soybean acreage estimate at the Outlook Forum. Losses were limited by strength in the energy markets. March ended 3 cents lower at $8.78 and May was 3 1/2 cents lower at $8.80.



Wheat futures settled higher on Wednesday. The gains were attributed to a technical bounce following recent weakness. Fundamentals remain mostly bearish given the recent sluggish export demand and strength in the dollar today. However, the southern Plains remains dry and the crop will soon need more moisture as it breaks dormancy. CBOT March closed 9 1/2 cents higher at $5.24 3/4, KCBT March was 12 3/4 cents higher at $5.66 and MGE March ended 11 3/4 cents higher at $6.29 1/4.



Cattle futures closed mostly lower on Wednesday. Weakness in the stock market weighed on futures, with the market giving back a portion of yesterday's gains. The weak economy remains a bearish concern for beef demand. Losses were limited by ideas of steady to even firm cash trade this week and firm choice beef cutouts at midday. April ended 50 cents lower at $84.85 and June ended 38 cents lower at $82.95.



Lean hog futures closed strongly higher on Wednesday. Short-covering pushed prices higher today after hitting contract lows on Tuesday. Futures had fallen to technically oversold levels. However, fundamentals were mostly bearish as the cash market and pork cutouts were lower again. Weakness in the stock market also prevented even larger gains. April ended $1.40 higher at $59.10 and June was $1.45 higher at $71.55.