Corn futures closed slightly lower on Wednesday. The market turned lower on profit-taking and consolidation from recent gains that had pushed futures to the highest level in four months. Crude oil turned lower today and the stock market was posting strong losses. Early strength was attributed to more rain in the eastern half of the Corn Belt that will further slow planting progress. July closed 1 cent lower at $4.26 1/2 and December was 3/4 of a cent lower at $4.47 1/4.



Soybean futures settled higher on Wednesday, led by old-crop months. Front end contracts hit seven month highs amid tight old-crop stock projections and continued fund buying. New-crop months were pulled higher as well, but gains were limited by concern that corn planting delays in the eastern half of the Corn Belt could lead to some acres intended for corn switching to soybeans. July closed 10 1/2 cents higher at $11.28 and November was 2 cents higher at $9.81 1/2.



Wheat futures were mixed on Wednesday. The CBOT was pressured by technical selling and bearish sentiment for the USDA raising their old-crop world carryout estimate by 9 million tonnes. The MGE traded higher on continued concern about the slow pace of spring wheat planting despite forecasts for drier weather in the northern Plains next week. CBOT July ended 4 cents lower at $5.88 3/4, KCBT July closed 1/2 of a cent higher at $6.38 and MGE July was 8 1/2 cents higher at $7.13 1/4.



Cattle futures closed lower on Wednesday. The market was pressured by weakness in the stock market and profit-taking on the recent rally. But further losses were limited by strength in boxed beef prices and expectations for firm cash trade this week. Beef demand is expected to pick-up ahead of Memorial Day. June fell 70 cents to $82.50 and August was 75 cents lower at $82.83.



Lean hog futures turned lower on Wednesday. Futures were pressured by the premium of the June contract to the cash market and concern that the cash trade will turn lower once packers fill Memorial Day orders. Cash markets have moved sharply higher recently as packers have ramped up slaughter, but packer margins have turned negative as cash price gains have outweighed higher pork cutout values. June closed 98 cents lower at $67.95 and October ended $1.25 lower at $65.45.