The WASDE report didn’t help corn futures. Position squaring and a modest upward revision to CONAB’s estimate of Brazilian production seemed to weigh on corn futures ahead of the 11:00 AM CST USDA WASDE report. Things changed little afterward, since the USDA more than offset a modest cut in the domestic carryout by boosting the global total significantly. March corn futures slid 1.5 cents to $3.9375/bushel in late Wednesday trading, while July lost 1.75 to $4.085.
The soy complex reacted poorly to the latest data. The soy complex was mixed prior to the WASDE’s release. As expected, the USDA boosted its estimate of 2014/15 U.S. soy exports and cut the carry-out forecast. Indeed, the changes exceeded industry expectations, which sparked a post-report CBOT bounce. However, futures soon turned decisively lower, possibly in reaction to the muted initial response. January soybean futures dove 17.25 cents to $10.32/bushel at their Wednesday settlement, while January soyoil sagged 0.24 cents to 31.75 cents/pound, and January meal tumbled $6.2 to $369.1/ton.
Wheat traders were apparently discouraged by the WASDE numbers. Russian statements discounting recent talk of export restrictions seemed to continue weighing on the wheat markets early Wednesday morning. That set the stage for the modestly bearish market reaction to the USDA news, since the USDA again boosted its estimate of global stockpiles. March CBOT wheat closed down 4.0 cents to $5.8175/bushel Wednesday, while March KC wheat sank 4.5 cents to $6.175/bushel and March MWE wheat stumbled 3.5 to $6.045.
Nearby cattle futures bounced from early lows. As suspected, Tuesday’s late drop in choice beef cutout weighed heavily upon early CME cattle trading. Big equity market losses may also have encouraged bears. However, the nearby contracts staged a comeback, trading around unchanged levels during the latter stages of the CME session. Ultimately, the likely tightness of cattle and beef supplies for the foreseeable future may be supporting the market. February live cattle slipped 0.20 cents to 162.85 cents/pound as Wednesday’s CME trading ended, while April gained 0.30 to 162.90. January feeder cattle futures plunged 1.17 cents to 231.60 cents/pound, and January feeders stumbled 0.10 to 227.25.
Spot weakness undercut Wednesday’s early hog rally. The CME hog index looks likely to rise slightly again when officially quoted Thursday, which probably inspired traders to start looking at the long side, especially with the nearby contracts trading at discounts. However, the midday spot market reports proved surprisingly weak, thereby seeming to short-circuit the advance. February hog futures ended Wednesday having skidded 0.05 cents at 84.55 cents/pound, while June hogs climbed 0.35 cents to 92.65.