U.S. dollar weakness supported commodity prices Wednesday
c However, early losses were apparently reversed by concurrent slippage by the U.S. dollar, since that lowers the cost of U.S. goods to export customers, thereby encouraging export demand. Both December and May corn futures ended the day unchanged at $4.39 and $4.5975/bushel, respectively.
The soy complex posted a decidedly mixed Wednesday showing. Talk of improved U.S. crop conditions and the accelerating harvest apparently depressed the soybean complex in early trading, but beans and meal bounced later in the day. The rebound may have been exaggerated by the concurrent U.S. dollar slide to its lowest levels since last February; that could accelerate buying from international customers. The bearish vegoil supply situation kept the pressure on soyoil prices. November soybeans gained 5.75 cents to $12.7375/bushel at Wednesday’s close, whereas December soyoil dove 0.89 cents to 39.38 cents/pound, and December soymeal surged $8.7 to $412.0/ton.
Strong export prospects seemed to boost the wheat markets. Observers continue pointing to vigorous export demand for U.S. wheat. Those prospects are probably improving at this point, since the traditional U.S. dollar index has fallen to its lowest level since last February, thereby effectively lowering the cost of wheat to foreign customers. December CBOT wheat ran up 4.75 cents to $6.86 bushel in late Wednesday trading, while December KCBT wheat climbed 9.5 cents to $7.545, and December MGE futures jumped 10.0 cents to $7.4675.
Cattle futures ended Wednesday in mixed fashion. The livestock markets are still operating in an informational vacuum, so it wasn’t surprising to see live cattle futures little changed today. Futures did rebound modestly from overnight losses, but traders seemed uncommitted to either side of the market at this point. December cattle futures closed 0.07 cents lower at 131.82 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while April moved up 0.35 cents higher to 134.92. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle advanced 0.15 cents to 166.20 cents/pound, and January rallied 0.57 to 165.77.
Hog futures posted moderate gains in Wednesday action. Again, the lack of USDA news is very likely limiting activity in the hog pit. Still, talk of steady prices at the various country markets probably supported CME prices. We also harbor suspicions that wholesale prices are holding up relatively well at this time, which could be quite supportive. December hog futures lifted 0.27 cents to 86.17 cents/pound at Wednesday’s close, while April improved 0.37 cents to 89.20.