Corn firmed as traders started anticipating Thursday’s WASDE report. The corn market has traded within a rather narrow range this week, with a lack of news being a dominating feature. That will change tomorrow, when the USDA releases its latest monthly WASDE (supply/demand) report. Observers suggest the report could have a bullish tone. May corn futures rose 0.25 cent to $3.8325/bushel Tuesday night, while December added 0.5 to $4.0825.  

Soyoil lagged beans and meal Tuesday night. There was also little substantive news concerning the soy complex last night, which again seemed to focus trader attention upon Thursday’s looming WASDE report. Suspicions that the USDA will be tightening soy supply estimates in the wake of the low total on the quarterly Grain Stocks report appear to be supporting prices, but crude and palm oil weakness is apparently weighing on soyoil quotes once again. May soybean futures gained 0.5 cent to $9.715/bushel shortly after dawn Wednesday, while May soyoil sagged 0.13 cents to 30.90 cents/pound, and May meal inched $0.4 higher to $320.1/ton.  

The wheat markets proved narrowly mixed overnight. After fluctuating rather widely since mid-March, wheat futures shifted around unchanged levels Tuesday night. A report that 5% of India’s crop may be lost to excessive rains did little to prices, thereby reflecting that country’s minimal influence over global markets. As with corn and soy, traders are probably looking forward to Thursday’s WASDE. May CBOT wheat sank 0.25 cent to $5.2575/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while May KC wheat slipped 1.0 cent to $5.6425/bushel, and May MWE wheat rose 0.25 to $5.8375.  

Spot market strength supported cattle futures again Tuesday. Industry expectations for a big late spring-early summer breakdown in cattle and beef prices weighed rather heavily upon the CME markets yesterday. However, midsession beef quotes built upon Monday’s rise, as well as last Friday’s big cash advance, thereby seeming to pull cattle futures higher at the close. Feeders lagged badly. Afternoon beef quotes were mixed, which may bode ill for today’s opening. June cattle futures ended Tuesday having bounced 0.57 cents to 152.32 cents/pound, while August cattle rallied 0.60 to 148.90 cents/pound. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures plunged 1.92 cents to 214.95 cents/pound, and August feeders tumbled 1.45 to 216.30.   

Futures premiums seemingly rendered CME hogs vulnerable. As expected, Monday afternoon reports of cash strength boosted hog futures on the Tuesday’s opening, but bulls couldn’t sustain the upward momentum. That probably reflected talk of flat country prices, as well as the premiums already built into Chicago prices. Afternoon GLOBEX strength suggests a firm Wednesday opening. June hog futures dipped 0.25 cents to 76.35 cents/pound as Tuesday’s CME session ended, while December skidded 0.20 to 67.27.   

Cotton also traded mixed Tuesday night. Recent production news out of India and Brazil, along with a bullish analyst report and technical factors have powered big cotton gains lately. However, with Export Sales data coming tomorrow morning and the WASDE report arriving soon thereafter, traders are probably reluctant to jump on the bullish bandwagon at this point. Mixed prices seeming reflect that caution. May cotton edged up 0.13 cents to 66.55 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December futures skidded 0.04 to 65.60.