Ag markets bounced somewhat from their Wednesday lows

Corn futures likely suffered from profit-taking Wednesday. After reacting strongly to Russia's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula Monday and Tuesday, corn futures stalled today. The midsession decline was probably triggered by the concurrent drop in soybean prices, with traders likely taking profits on old longs. May corn settled 2.25 cents lower at $4.82/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December dropped 3.25 to $4.8325.

The soy complex suffered from Chinese news, but firmed late. The soy complex slipped Tuesday night, then turned decidedly lower in early Wednesday action. The drop was spurred by USDA news of cancelled Chinese previous bean purchases. The industry has been anticipating such events, which, along with solid underlying fundamentals, may have powered the late comeback. May soybeans ended Wednesday down just 2.5 cents at $14.205/bushel, while May soyoil sank 0.31 cents to 43.40 cents/pound, and May soymeal skidded just $0.1 to $449.6/ton.

The wheat markets traded firmly in the face of general weakness. Concurrent soybean and corn losses very likely exerted considerable downward pressure upon the wheat markets Wednesday morning. However, the possibility of disruptions to Black Sea supplies and potential freeze damage done to U.S. winter wheat apparently limited the bearish reaction in the CBOT and KC pits. Fresh talk of Canadian transport problems seemingly boosted Minneapolis prices. May CBOT wheat futures slipped 1.0 cent to $6.425/bushel Wednesday, while May KCBT wheat futures gained 0.75 cent to $7.1025, and May MWE futures climbed 3.25 to $6.8875.

Cattle futures suffered a surprising drop. The short-term outlook for cattle futures still seems rather promising, especially with nearby contracts trading at sizeable discounts to cash quotes. Rising wholesale prices also seem quite supportive. However, futures turned decidedly lower this morning, which seemingly reflected topping action in hog futures. April cattle futures plunged 1.95 cents to 143.67 cents/pound at their Wednesday close, while August dove 1.30 cents to 133.40. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle sagged 0.35 cents to 174.00 cents/pound, and August slid 0.42 to 176.42.

Hog futures seemed to reach a short-term top Wednesday. Anticipation of tightening hog and pork supplies during spring and summer have recently powered hog futures to stunning highs. Panicked short-covering probably exaggerated the move. However, reality seemed to set in after futures reached limit-it up levels this morning, with prices turning sharply lower by late morning. Priced did firm later in the day. April hogs tumbled 0.95 cents to 110.72 cents/pound at their CME settlement Wednesday, while June leapt 2.00 at 117.75.


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