Despite trending higher due to a lower dollar and a midsession boost for wheat, grain markets ended the day mostly even-lower. The grain and soy markets surged Tuesday as the U.S. dollar dropped, then lost momentum early this morning before pulling higher before noon. In the closing hours, corn retreated from its midday gains. Bears may have found traction with the fine crop conditions and the substantial pull-back in wheat may have also added resistance. July corn closed even at $3.59/bushel Wednesday, and December settled .75 cents lower despite midday gains ending at $3.6575.
While soybeans started to inch higher today, they ended to the downside. The surprisingly slow planting progress on Monday’s Crop Progress report and yesterday’s dollar dive sent beans and meal sharply higher yesterday. Then, the bulls seemed to struggle to sustain the upward push early this morning before the soy complex headed higher just before noon Wednesday. Later in the day, however, the markets erased much of their gains. Wire service sources cited profit-taking for the drop. July soybean futures declined 5.5 cents to $9.3525/bushel at the close Wednesday, while July soyoil rose 0.56 cents to 34.73 cents/pound, and July meal rose $.90 to $302.70/ton.
Wheat futures traded higher yesterday likely on fund short covering and perhaps from talk of the Canadian wheat crop freeze. The wheat markets proved quite strong early Wednesday, with weak winter wheat condition ratings and the dollar breakdown appearing to spur fresh wheat buying. Traders cited technical selling for the late slide. July CBOT wheat futures moved 1.75 lower to $5.1075/bushel at the end of trading Wednesday, and July KC wheat fell 7.75 cents to $5.2925/bushel, and July MWE wheat sank 8.25 cent to $5.63.
Bears seemed to have success Wednesday driving discounted cattle futures lower. Despite firm underlying beef demand that triggered CME gains early this week, dropping wholesale prices seem to be weighing down cattle futures as well as the cash market. Mixed-lower beef action Wednesday tended to encourage selling. August cattle futures declined 1.25 cents to 150.62 cents/pound, and December futures edged 1.28 cents lower to 153.67. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures fell 1.13 cents to 221.90 cents/pound, and November feeders slumped 1.35 to 217.87.
Hog futures headed lower again on Wednesday. While CME hogs performed well early this week, they proved unable to break out above major chart resistance at modestly higher levels. That technical failure, as well as persistent ideas about short-term seasonal weakness seemed to spark long liquidation and short selling Tuesday. Mixed-lower spot market quotes Tuesday afternoon seemed to portend Wednesday’s weakness. August hog futures declined 1.42 cents to 81.32 cents/pound at the close Wednesday, while December sank 1.27 to 68.02.
Cotton posted a belated Tuesday night bounce and continued higher during the day Wednesday. Recent news on exports and crop conditions, as well as Tuesday’s U.S. dollar plunge had seemingly done little to boost fiber prices. However, ICE cotton did firm yesterday afternoon and built upon that base last night. The fact that the new-crop December contract held at the pivotal 64.00-cent level may have triggered buying from technical and pragmatic traders looking for a short-term advance. Fresh dollar losses likely encouraged bulls as well. July cotton rallied 1.62 cents to 65.22 cents/pound late at the closing session Wednesday and December futures climbed 1.24 to 65.30.