Corn futures were fractionally lower on Wednesday. The market was pressured by profit-taking from the gains on Tuesday and drier and warmer weather this week that will aid the tail end of planting and early season crop growth. But losses were limited by talk that China bought two cargoes of U.S. corn and weakness in the dollar. July closed 1/2 of a cent lower at $3.59 1/4 and December was 1/2 of a cent lower at $3.78.


 


Soybean futures settled lower on Wednesday. Losses were attributed to the warmer and drier weather over the Midwest that will help planting progress and early season growth. But front end contract losses were limited by talk that some South American soybean cargoes for export were being switched to the U.S. July closed 1 cent lower at $9.38 1/2 and November ended 7 3/4 cents lower at $9.05 3/4.


 


Wheat futures closed mostly higher on Wednesday. A late short-covering rally and weakness in the dollar helped pull most contracts higher today. But gains were limited by bearish fundamentals. Export demand remains sluggish and winter wheat condition ratings remain strong. Rainfall in the southern Plains should help boost conditions there. CBOT July ended 1 1/2 cents higher at $4.69 1/4, KCBT July was 3 1/2 cents higher at $4.91 1/2 and MGE July was 1/2 of a cent higher at $5.11 3/4.


 


Cattle futures were steady to lower on Wednesday. Fund selling amid technical weakness and ideas that the cash market has topped weighed on futures. The June contract hit 2 1/2 month lows and August two month lows before short-covering developed to limit losses. Cash trade developed at $97-$98 earlier this week, down about $2 from last week. Boxed beef prices appear to have topped after hitting 22-month highs set last week. June closed 33 cents lower at $92.43 and August was unchanged at $91.53.


 

Lean hog futures settled higher on Wednesday. Fund buying and short-covering from recent losses supported the market. There was talk that China is buying U.S. pork again after a one-year ban. But further gains were limited by recent weakness in the cash market. Pork cutouts were down 73 cents on Tuesday. June ended 73 cents higher at $82.03 and August was $1.10 higher at $82.80.