Corn futures traded higher on Wednesday. Spillover support from soybeans and short-covering pushed prices higher. Further gains are being limited by the strong pace of corn planting so far this spring, although forecasts have indicated wetter Midwest weather through next week. May closed 3 3/4 cents higher at $3.59 1/4 and July was 3 3/4 cents higher at $3.69.
Soybean futures were solidly higher on Wednesday. May futures have hit a three-month high amid continued export demand from China, slow farmer selling and firm cash markets. USDA reported the sale of 174,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, although delivery will be in the 2010/11 marketing year. May ended 11 1/2 cents higher at $9.95 1/2 and July was 12 cents higher at $10.06.
Wheat futures closed mixed on Wednesday. Fundamentals remain bearish, but strength in corn and soybeans helped to support the CBOT and limit losses at the KCBT and MGE. Winter wheat conditions are well above average and forecasts do not call for any threat of damaging cold. Spring wheat planting is going well with USDA reporting 20% of the crop planted as of Sunday, up 6% from the five-year average. CBOT May was 1 1/4 cents higher at $4.87 1/4, KCBT May ended 2 cents lower at $4.99 3/4 and MGE May fell 3 cents to $5.16 1/4.
Cattle futures ended higher Wednesday. June settled at a life-of-contract high after pushing to a fresh two-week high. Futures were supported by higher beef prices on Tuesday and expectations for cash trade to be $2 higher this week. Concerns that Friday's Cattle on Feed report could show a big increase in placements last month versus year-ago limited gains. April was 93 cents higher at $99.60 and June was 85 cents higher at $95.45.Lean hog futures closed higher Wednesday. Several contracts posted new contract highs on support from strength in the cash market and the rally in pork cutout values to the highest level since August 2008. Also supportive today were favorable packer margins while the availability of market ready hogs is limited as producers are tied up with fieldwork and planting. June was $1.58 higher at $87.08 and July was $1.78 higher at $87.60.