Corn
futures closed solidly higher on Wednesday. Technical buying and short-covering
developed late in the session amid rumors that China is looking for U.S. corn.
Rain in the Midwest is slowing fieldwork, although forecasts for the next
couple of weeks look drier, especially for the eastern Corn Belt. May ended 10
cents higher at $3.56 1/2 and July was 9 3/4 cents higher at $3.367 3/4.  

 

Soybean
futures were higher on Wednesday. The late rally in corn and firm cash markets
helped push soybean futures higher. Support was also generated from the dollar
slipping from its highs for the day. The continued harvest of what is expected
to be record soybean crops in Brazil and Argentina limited gains. May closed 8
cents higher at $9.52 1/2 and July was 8 cents higher at $9.61 1/2.

 

Wheat
futures settled higher on Wednesday. Short-covering developed to push prices
higher after the dollar slipped from the session highs. Gains were limited most
of the day by the abundant stocks of U.S. and global wheat and strong condition
ratings of U.S. winter wheat. CBOT May ended 11 3/4 cents higher at $4.75 1/4,
KCBT May was 10 1/2 cents higher at $4.92 and MGE May closed 8 3/4 cents higher
at $5.06 1/4.

 

Cattle
futures closed sharply higher on Wednesday. April hit the highest level for a
lead contract in 18 months and nearly all contracts posted new highs. Strength in
the cash market late on Tuesday and gains in boxed beef prices helped support
the futures market. Cash trade was up $2-$4 in the southern Plains at $98-$100.
Trade in Nebraska was up $4-$6 on a dressed basis. April ended $2.20 higher at
$99.45 and June was $1.18 higher at $94.75.

 

Lean hog futures were
higher on Wednesday. April hit the highest level for a lead contract in nearly
20 months while several deferred contracts posted new highs. The market was supported
by strength in the cash market and the rally in pork cutout values to 2 1/2 month
highs on Tuesday. Cash prices were $3-$4 higher yesterday. April closed 55
cents higher at $77.18 and June was 30 cents higher at $84.60.