Corn futures traded lower on Wednesday. Fund selling pushed the market lower amid strength in the dollar following news that China had raised interest rates and improved crop condition ratings. Crop conditions improved one point last week to 69% good to excellent, which is slightly above the ten-year average of 68%. Weather forecasts for the next couple of weeks remain non-threatening for the crop. Losses were limited by active export demand and strength in the cash market. September closed 6 3/4 cents lower at $6.18 3/4 and December was 4 cents lower at $6.08 1/2.
Soybean futures closed mixed on Wednesday. Strength in the dollar and news that China raised interest rates weighed on futures much of the session. But the market turned mixed as the soybean market remains in a trading range. Soybean crop condition ratings improved 1 point to 66% good to excellent last week versus the ten-year average of 63%. August ended unchanged at $13.22 1/4 and November was 1/2 of a cent higher at $13.18 1/2.
Wheat futures closed lower on Wednesday. Strength in the dollar and disappointing export demand weighed on futures. Export competition is increasing as Russia and the Ukraine look to export wheat after limiting sales last year following the drought reduced crop. Winter wheat harvest is also weighing on prices. Winter wheat harvest was 56% complete as of Sunday, above the 5-year average of 52%. Spring wheat condition ratings improved to 70% good to excellent, up 1 points from the previous week. CBOT September was 8 1/2 cents lower at $6.27, KCBT September ended 9 1/2 cents lower at $7.26 1/2 and MGE September closed 5 1/2 cents lower at $8.27 1/2.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Wednesday. Technical selling and strength in the dollar weighed on nearby contracts. Cash trade has not yet developed this week, but traders are looking for steady to firm trade. Beef prices were firm at midday and indications are that the holiday weekend beef clearance was solid. Deferreds were steady to slightly higher on a rebound from early weakness. August ended 40 cents lower at $112.95 and October was 45 cents lower at $119.40.
Lean hog futures traded mostly higher on Wednesday. The market was supported by futures discount to cash and steady to higher cash markets today. Packer bids were firm as they were buying inventory for a full slaughter schedule next week. But gains in the futures market were limited by strength in the dollar. July closed 25 cents higher at $96.03 and August was 25 cents higher at $93.60.