Grains higher on month-end fund buying

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Corn futures settled higher on Wednesday. Generally speaking the grain complex closed with firm gains midweek. Corn futures received an extra boost in prices on technical buying and end of the month positioning. Although futures closed higher today, the market closed .03 percent lower for the month of October. USDA’s weekly crop progress report is scheduled to be released this afternoon with expectations that corn harvest will be 93 percent complete versus 87 percent the previous week. December corn futures settled 15 ¼ cents higher.

Soybean futures settled higher on Wednesday. A combination of factors helped to move soybean futures higher today. First, unfavorable weather in South America is expected to hinder the soybean plantings in certain parts of Argentina. Prices were also supported by month end fund buying and short covering as a result of steep losses incurred on Monday. USDA is scheduled to release its crop progress report this afternoon and the trade is expecting soybean harvest 88 percent complete. November soybean futures settled 13 ¼ cents higher.

Wheat futures settled higher on Wednesday. The market settled higher although off of midday highs. The market was supported by month end fund buying and spillover support from the other grain markets. Global supply concerns remain supporting factor for prices; however weak demand for U.S. wheat remains burdensome for the market. December wheat futures settled 7 ¾ cents higher at CBOT; 1 ¾ cents higher at KCBT, and 7 ¼ cents higher at MGE.

Live cattle futures closed mixed on Wednesday. Cattle futures closed mixed midweek on sluggish wholesale beef prices and unsupportive fundamentals. Midday wholesale beef prices were reported lower for both choice and select cutouts. Futures were also negatively affected by long liquidation and profit taking. Light trade in the cash market is reported at steady to higher. December cattle futures closed 28 cents lower while February (2013) cattle futures closed 8 cents higher.

Lean hog futures closed higher on Wednesday. Nearby contracts closed firm thanks to futures discount to the CME cash index. Hog futures edged higher despite lackluster fundamentals and lower cash prices. Traders continue to monitor the demand situation as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Demand is expected to pick up as consumers, grocers, etc will need to replenish food items lost due to lack of power. Gains in the grain complex also helped to support deferred contracts. December hog futures closed 18 cents higher while February futures closed 60 cents higher.

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