Ag markets suffered a general divergence Wednesday

Corn futures fluctuated around unchanged levels Wednesday. The corn market followed soybeans lower Tuesday night as improved weather forecasts weighed on prices. Ongoing U.S. dollar gains weren't helpful either. However, news of a sizeable wheat sale to Nigeria boosted those markets, which in turn appeared to keep yellow grain prices stable through the end of the day. September corn settled up 0.25 cent at $3.6175/bushel Wednesday, while December rose 0.5 cent to $3.715.

The soy complex closed weakly. Firming Gulf quotes apparently boosted the expiring August bean contract Wednesday morning, but it couldn't sustain the bounce. The general decline almost surely reflected forecasts for widespread Corn Belt rainfall next week, thereby alleviating worries about diminished fall production. August soybean futures dipped 6.0 cents to $12.2225/bushel at Wednesday's close, while November futures fell 13.75 cents to $10.8125. August soyoil sank 0.20 cents to 36.05 cents/pound and August soymeal tumbled $7.8 to $387.6/ton.

Export news boosted the wheat markets Wednesday. Although current weather forecasts and the rising dollar also seemed bearish for the wheat outlook, golden grain prices turned decidedly higher after the USDA announced a sizeable sale to Nigeria. Traders were probably bottom-picking and short-covering as well. September CBOT wheat advanced 5.25 cents to $5.2725/bushel as Wednesday's trading ended, while September KC wheat lifted 5.5 cents to $6.17/bushel, and September MWE wheat edged up 2.25 cents to $6.1275.

Strong cash prospects seemingly boosted CME cattle prices. Cattle traders suspect last week's big cash jump signaled a looming blow-off top. However, surging wholesale prices and strong packer margins remain very supportive, so the traders apparently reconsidered early-week futures slippage. August live cattle surged 1.07 cents to 159.85 cents/pound in late Wednesday action, while December rallied 0.77 cents to 159.92. Meanwhile, August feeder futures soared 1.60 cents to 223.02 cents/pound, and October feeders leapt 1.90 to 224.02.

Talk of fresh cash and wholesale weakness depressed hog futures again Wednesday. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets stabilized Tuesday, which provided support for CME futures in early trading. However, Chicago prices turned decidedly lower by late morning, thereby marketing a reaction to news of fresh cash/pork losses. August hog futures plummeted 2.3 cents to 119.15 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement, while December plunged 2.15 cents to 94.45.


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