Ag markets turned decidedly mixed by midsession Wednesday

Corn and beans have set back from Tuesday's highs. The crop markets posted impressive gains Tuesday, with the nearby contracts making multi-month highs. However, the markets apparently suffered from widespread profit-taking in overnight action and remained weak this morning, especially with some traders talking about improving weather next week. May corn sank 3.5 cents to $5.1225/bushel Wednesday morning, while December slumped 4.75 cents to $5.075.

The soy markets also suffered Wednesday morning losses. Little fresh news concerning the soy complex emerged this morning, thereby leaving the CBOT markets vulnerable to profit-taking in the wake of Tuesday's surge. Still, the fact that the new-crop bean contracts are losing more ground than the May future implies underlying short-term strength. May soybeans dipped 4.75 cents to $15.1925/bushel late Wednesday morning, while May soyoil fell 0.77 cents to 42.00 cents/pound, but May soymeal skidded $0.4 to $499.5/ton.

Anecdotal crop tour results are likely boosting wheat futures. Wheat futures were weak Tuesday night, but have turned upward this morning. The rebound was probably sparked by reports from those on the Wheat Quality Council Tour indicating very poor harvest prospects for west-central Kansas. May CBOT wheat futures bounced 4.5 cents to $7.125/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while May KCBT wheat futures surged 11.75 cents to $8.09, and May MWE futures gained 9.5 to $7.5675.

Cattle futures were mixed in early Wednesday action. Tuesday's late wholesale news was decidedly mixed, with a sizeable rise in choice cutout being essentially matched by a drop in select values. That may partially explain the mixed nature of Wednesday morning CME action, especially with traders seeming uncertain about likely late-spring price direction. June cattle inched up 0.02 cents to 137.05 cents/pound just before lunchtime Wednesday, while December tumbled 0.47 cents to 141.90. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle slumped 0.22 cents to 180.35 cents/pound, whereas August added 0.62 cents to 187.17.

Cash and wholesale weakness are undercutting hog futures. CME lean hog futures had held up well early this week as traders looked for seasonal strength to emerge. And while cash and pork quotes were firm early in the week, they proved quite weak Tuesday afternoon, thereby weighing heavily upon Chicago prices. Midsession reports indicate firm morning quotes, which may boost CME prices this afternoon. June hog futures plunged 2.02 cents to 123.25 cents/pound late Wednesday morning, while December dove 0.60 to 92.35.


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