Ag markets are mixed early Wednesday morning

Corn futures again tried to rebound from weekend losses Tuesday night, coming into Wednesday morning trading at slightly higher levels. Wire service sources cited bargain hunting by bulls for the modest gains. Conversely, technicians looking at the corn charts may be seeing a huge ‘bear flag' formation. A significant move to the downside could attract another major wave of selling. May corn rose 0.75 cent to $6.4125/bushel early Wednesday morning, while December gained 1.5 cents to $5.3825.

Ideas that Brazilian logistical problems in getting its record soybean crop through its ports are easing reportedly depressed the market Tuesday and again last night. Some sources also cited demand concerns if the recent Chinese outbreak of ‘bird flu' gets out of control. Conversely, the palm oil market proved relatively firm, which apparently boosted bean oil futures. May soybeans seem set to begin the Wednesday morning pit session about 4.75 cents lower, at $13.8925/bushel, while May soyoil edged 0.10 cents higher, to 49.69 cents/pound overnight, and May meal dipped $2.3 to $399.8/ton.

Wheat futures built upon moderate Tuesday gains overnight. Talk of persistent problems with the U.S. winter wheat crop reportedly boosted the market, as did speculation that the recent price drop will spark renewed interest from export buyers. May CBOT wheat futures rose 8.5 cents to $6.7925/bushel in pre-dawn Wednesday trading, while May KCBT wheat advanced 8.5 cent to $7.2525, and May MGE futures surged 10.25 cents to $7.865.

Cattle futures rebounded slightly from their Tuesday losses overnight. That probably reflected the last afternoon report of sustained wholesale strength, which improves the chances of another cash market rise later this week. Early April is traditionally a time of strength for the cattle and beef markets, since production is seasonally small and demand is improving with the advent of grilling season. June cattle lifted 0.10 cents to 122.92 cents/pound in early Wednesday morning electronic action, while December skidded 0.17 cents to 129.27. May feeder cattle futures dropped 0.30 cents to 146.80 cents/pound, and August slid 0.35 cents to 153.30.

Nearby CME lean hog futures market lost ground early Wednesday morning, while the deferred contracts posted modest gains. Those may have market trader reactions to Tuesday afternoon news of steady-higher cash quotes and a sizeable decline in wholesale values. The spring and early summer contracts are seemingly being handicapped by their premiums to the lean hog index (which they cash-settle against). May hogs sank 0.55 cents to 89.40 cents/pound in overnight action, while June slipped 0.17 cents to 91.67.

After following the grain and soy complexes lower over the weekend, cotton futures surged in concert with the equity markets Tuesday. The implication of robust economic growth and vigorous apparel demand seemed to boost cotton prices again overnight. The bounce from trendline support also kept the winter rally intact, which probably attracted buyers as well. May cotton climbed 0.48 cents to 89.35 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December added 0.06 cents to 87.60.


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