Ukraine news may have added to Wednesday’s corn pressure. Wire service reports cited prospects for record U.S. corn and bean harvests for the general price weakness seen this morning. We suspect an official Ukraine forecast that they will boost grain exports by 7% exaggerated the corn weakness. December corn futures ended Wednesday having fallen 8.75 cents to $3.6325/bushel, while May lost 8.75 to $3.85.
The soy complex led the way lower. Talk about the record U.S. soybean harvest and the resulting seasonal supply surge reportedly depressed soy prices today. Bean and product prices fell sharply despite the early-morning announcement of another big sale to an unknown destination. Spot weakness may also have weighed on CBOT values. January soybean futures dove 18.5 cents to $10.0475/bushel in late-Wednesday action, while December soyoil stumbled 0.14 cents to 32.51 cents/pound, and December meal dropped $7.6 to $370.4/ton.
The wheat markets also declined. Wire service reports indicated that wheat futures were following corn and beans lower, but we still suspect Tuesday’s news of a French feed wheat shipment to the U.S. is undercutting grain prices. December CBOT wheat tumbled 11.25 cents to $5.5775/bushel at Wednesday’s pit session close, while December KC wheat slumped 7.25 cents to $5.8625/bushel, and December MWE wheat sank 7.0 to $5.715.
Cattle futures posted a firm Wednesday close. The cattle and beef situation seems very bullish, but sustained bulls markets such as this generally need to be fed fresh supportive information. The lack of news appeared to undercut prices this morning, but strong midday beef quotes powered an afternoon rebound. December live cattle futures settled unchanged at 170.82 cents/pound Wednesday, while April futures rose 0.20 to 170.20. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures dipped 0.17 cents to 237.10 cents/pound, and March feeders sagged 0.27 to 235.32.
Cash strength sparked the Wednesday morning hog bounce. Recent pork weakness has weighed rather heavily upon CME hog prices. However, the cash markets firmed Tuesday and caused a surprisingly large rise in the preliminary figure for the CME lean hog index (which CME futures cash-settle against). That news probably powered the late-session rally. December hog futures gained 0.22 cents to 91.77 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement, while April hogs climbed 0.65 to 93.60.