Big hog losses were the exception to mixed ag market trading

Corn futures were firm at midweek. Corn futures fluctuated around unchanged levels in early trading, then turned higher as Wednesday morning passed. Ideas that the harvest lows are in may be supporting futures somewhat, but bulls were probably more encouraged by the early morning announcement of a 120,000 sale to an unknown destination. March corn futures rose 2.25 cents to $4.3825/bushel late Wednesday morning, while May added 2.25 cents to $4.4675.

International news seems to be supporting the soy complex. Soy prices bounced modestly from Tuesday losses early Wednesday morning and remained firm as lunchtime approached. That strength almost surely reflected news of a big South Korean meal tender, along with a reduced Chinese bean production figure from that country's official sources. News of big Egyptian sunflower purchase may be boosting oil prices. January soybeans bounced 4.0 cents to $13.4335/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while January soyoil climbed 0.21 cents to 40.32 cents/pound, and January soymeal gained $1.3 to $439.6/ton.

Egyptian news probably undercut wheat prices. Wheat futures turned lower from overnight gains this morning, which very likely reflected the latest news from Egypt. That is, officials from that country announced that they had bought 300,000 tonnes of Romania and France this morning, which means U.S. grain was shut out. This implies U.S. wheat is too expensive. March CBOT wheat futures slid 0.5 cent to $6.3825/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while March KCBT wheat futures sagged 1.75 cents to $6.825, whereas March MWE futures bounced 1.25 to $6.6925.

Cattle futures turned narrowly mixed Wednesday morning. Talk of increased short-term supplies and slipping beef prices reportedly depressed cattle futures Tuesday, whereas anticipation of tightening winter supplies is providing support. The two sides seemed to reach a standoff this morning, with the various contracts being quite mixed in late-morning action. February cattle futures were steady at 132.65 as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, with April lost 0.02 cents to 133.82. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle crept up 0.07 cents to 165.62 cents/pound, but March feeders slipped 0.05 to 165.42.

Persistent cash weakness appears to be depressing hogs futures. The hog/pork industry has been expecting a vigorous seasonal rally to start in the near future. However, cash prices turned downward late last week and continued sliding Monday and Tuesday. The disparity between the cash quotes and premium CME futures is apparently prompting aggressive selling. February hog futures fell 1.07 cents to 87.65 cents/pound in late Wednesday morning action, while June tumbled 0.95 to 99.22.


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