Corn futures closed a little lower Wednesday. There was little new in the market. Bird flu concerns have eased a little with no new cases reported in China recently. Basis levels are steady to a little better but there is concern about problems with ice on the Illinois and low water levels on the Ohio Rivers. March fell 1 1/2 cents to $2.07 1/4 and May ended 1 1/2 cents lower at $2.16 1/4.



Soybean futures ended lower on Wednesday. Consolidation trade following the strong rally of the past two sessions and a bearish November NOPA crush number weighed on the market. January closed 5 cents lower at $5.92 1/2 and March was 4 3/4 cents lower at $6.03 1/2.



Wheat futures close higher on Wednesday despite weakness in corn and soybeans. The higher close turns the near-term chart picture decisively positive. Reports of winterkill in the southern Plains from last week's bout of cold weather provided fundamental support. CBOT Mar was up 5 1/4 cents at $3.23 3/4. KCBT Mar was 6 cents higher at $3.66. MGE Mar was up 4 cents at $3.74 1/2.



Live cattle futures ended mostly higher on Wednesday, setting another round of contract highs. Sharply higher cash prices and fund buying provided support, but gains were limited by commercial selling and some profit-taking. February gained 62 points to close at $96.87. April ended unchanged at $94.65.



Lean hog futures closed slightly lower on Wednesday due to weaker cash fundamentals. Cash markets were steady to $1 lower today following the nearly $1 drop in pork cutouts on Tuesday. Most packers are said to have needs covered through the weekend. February closed 40 cents lower at $66.18 and April ended 60 cents lower at $68.60.