Corn futures traded lower Wednesday morning. The weekly EIA report indicated a modest slowdown in ethanol production last week, while stocks grew. That seemed to keep price pressure on the corn market. Having wheat futures drop and the U.S. dollar rally can’t be helping the bullish cause either. March corn slipped 2.25 cents to $3.79/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while July skidded 3.0 to $3.94.
The soy complex proved mixed in early Wednesday action. The EIA report looked bearish for the energy sector, with the resulting break in crude oil futures seeming to spur aggressive selling in the soyoil pit. Meanwhile, demand for soymeal apparently remains quite robust, as indicated by the modest gains posted this morning. The soyoil dive seemingly offset meal-market support in the bean pit. March soybean futures edged up 0.25 cent to $9.74/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while March soyoil plummeted 0.93 to 30.24 cents/pound, but March meal rose $3.1 to $339.7/ton.
Weather forecasts seemed to sink the wheat markets. Global wheat markets are seen as being very well supplied. Moreover, prospects for forthcoming crops seem promising, especially after major winter wheat production areas in the US and the Black Sea region were predicted to receive helpful precipitation in the days ahead. Fresh dollar strength isn’t helping expensive U.S. wheat either. March CBOT wheat dove 12.5 cents to $5.065/bushel late Wednesday morning, while March KC wheat fell 13.25 cents to $5.37/bushel, and March MWE wheat sank 9.5 to $5.57.
Livestock traders apparently think the recent breakdown has ended. Beef cutout values plunged Tuesday afternoon, as did pork quotes. And yet, nearby CME live cattle futures firmed on today’s opening then marched upward. This bullish response to bearish news at least suggests the industry had anticipated the beef news and might easily represent ideas that the recent livestock sector breakdown has run its course. February live cattle futures surged 1.40 cents to 154.22 as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday and April cattle climbed 0.85 cents to 151.85 cents/pound. January feeder cattle futures leapt 1.37 cents to 212.15, and March feeders surged vaulted 1.87 cents to 205.70.
Hog futures also posted a big Wednesday morning surge. Although cash hog prices were mixed-to-weak again Tuesday afternoon, pork cutouts suffered a major drop. As one would expect, CME futures fell on today’s opening, but they then staged a stunning reversal led by the mid-year contracts. As in the cattle markets, this suggests the industry thinks the breakdown is ending. February hog futures jumped 1.40 cents to 70.82 cents/pound in late Wednesday morning trading, while June hogs soared 2.77 cents to 84.35.
Cotton bulls are fighting the general downtrend. Little cotton news has emerged since the CBO published its estimate of U.S. plantings Monday afternoon. Thus, it’s not terribly surprising that ICE futures values declined early this morning, given the subsequent equity market breakdown, as well as the concurrent crop market weakness and today’s U.S. dollar strength. Conversely, the midsession bounce was impressive. March cotton futures rebounded 0.35 cents to 59.13 cents/pound just after noon (EST) Wednesday, while the July contract moved up 0.25 to 60.65.