Corn futures closed higher on Wednesday. The market was supported by hot and dry weather in Argentina that is trimming yield potential. Brazilian corn production estimates have also been lowered due to poor weather. Gains were limited by the bearish supply/demand revisions on Monday and sluggish export demand for U.S. corn. March closed 4 cents higher at $3.66 1/2 and May was 4 1/4 cents higher at $3.77 1/2.



Soybean futures closed steady to slightly lower on Wednesday. Concerns about soybean crop damage in Argentina and Brazil due to dry weather and strong export demand for U.S. beans remain supportive factors. But USDA's bearish supply/demand revisions on Monday and the disappointing monthly NOPA crush report this morning kept most contracts on the defensive. March ended unchanged at $9.71 1/2 and May was 1/2 of a cent lower at $9.80 1/4.



Wheat futures settled higher on Wednesday. The market was supported by concerns that cold weather in the Midwest and Plains may harm the winter wheat crop. But gains were limited by strength in the dollar and drop in crude oil today coupled with the increased ending stocks estimates for the U.S. and world on Monday. CBOT March closed 3 1/2 cents higher at $5.74 1/4, KCBT March was 3 cents higher at $6.00 and MGE March 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.41 3/4.



Cattle futures ended lower on Wednesday. Futures opened sharply lower and hit one-month lows before short-covering helped the market rebound from the lows for the day. Concern about the weakening economy following the disappointing December retail sales number pressured outside financial markets. February closed 73 cents lower at $83.35 and April was 75 cents lower at $86.83.



Lean hog futures closed lower on Wednesday, led by losses in the nearby contract. The February and April contract hit new contract lows before rebounding. The $1.08 drop in pork cutouts on Tuesday and poor packer margins are expected to limit gains in the cash market. Renewed fears of recession also weighed on futures. February closed $1.53 lower at $59.93 and April was 58 cents lower at $66.70.