Ag markets continued late trends Wednesday morning

Comments from the head of a well-respected commodity analysis firm Tuesday afternoon may have boosted corn futures overnight. In particular, his firm is backing away from a corn acreage forecast over 99 million acre. That news seemingly fit with domestic supply tightness that has apparently powered the market higher lately. May corn seems set to begin its Wednesday pit session 2.75 cents higher at $717.0/bushel, while December rose 1.25 cents to $5.585 overnight.

At the same time he signaled reduced expectations for corn planting this year, the head of a Memphis based commodity analysis firm stated yesterday that his firm is now leaning toward increasing its soybean acreage forecast, which may be one reason soybean futures continued their recent decline early Wednesday morning. That also fit with the significant declines suffered Tuesday. May soybeans had fallen 4.75 cents to $14.64/bushel in overnight activity, while May soyoil dipped 0.28 cents to 49.70 cents/pound, and May meal slipped $0.4 to $435.9/ton.

Wheat futures seemed to benefit from strength spilling over from the corn market again Tuesday night; there was little substantive news concerning the golden grain. It seems as if wheat traders are content to follow the lead of the corn market for now, but that may change with the release of the Thursday morning USDA Export Sales reports. May CBOT wheat futures rose 2.5 cents to $7.06/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May KCBT wheat edged 1.0 cents higher to $7.3625, and May MGE futures lost 0.25 cent to $7.9125.

Wholesale beef prices rose modestly Tuesday afternoon, with the persistence of the recent trend probably supported CME live cattle futures. Indeed, grocers traditionally buy beef aggressively through the first half of most months, since they then feature those purchases on the first weekend of the month following. Anticipation of a rise in cash cattle prices later this week is very likely supporting prices as well. April cattle rallied 0.17 cents to 128.87 cents/pound overnight, while August added 0.12 cents to 125.40. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle gained 0.50 cents to 142.70 cents/pound, and August climbed 0.45 cents to 151.67.

Mixed cash and futures quotes seemed to have the same effect upon CME lean hog futures early Wednesday morning. That is, after preliminary reports indicating considerable country weakness Tuesday morning, prices proved quite firm later in the day. Conversely, pork cutout declined modestly as butts and ribs led the way lower. Traders probably have mixed views about the outlook for the second half of March at this juncture. April hogs rose 0.15 cents to 81.60 cents/pound Tuesday night, while June slid 0.05 cents to 91.00.

After posting its highest 2013 close Tuesday afternoon, May cotton futures continued rising moderately overnight. Talk that mills had been forced to buy yesterday probably encouraged more of the same. Anticipation of strong Chinese buying and a major reduction in U.S. plantings this spring are also supporting prices. May cotton climbed 0.23 cents to 87.56 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, whereas December slipped 0.20 cents to 86.76.


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