Talk of Brazilian ethanol shipments may have undercut corn futures. The grain and soy markets moved modestly higher Tuesday night, but corn and wheat had set back by midsession. The weekly EIA report indicated drop in domestic ethanol stockpiles, thereby supporting prices, but subsequent news that Brazil has begun shipping alcohol to the U.S. appeared to drag prices lower. May corn futures sagged 0.25 cent to $3.7075/bushel late Wednesday morning, while December slid 1.0 to $3.9575.
The soy complex remained strong around midsession. The huge South American harvest and elevated U.S. dollar still represent obstacles to gains in the soybean and product markets. That has made today’s moderate Chicago gains more impressive, since there is no news obviously driving prices higher. Big palm oil gains and slow producer selling may be supporting the soy complex, but wire service sources cited bargain hunting for the rebound. May soybean futures rallied 6.0 cents to $9.605/bushel in late Wednesday morning action, while May soyoil surged 0.35 cents to 30.39 cents/pound, and May meal added $3.0 to $320.5/ton.
The wheat markets turned mostly higher Wednesday morning. The latest weather models reportedly reduced or eliminated chances of widespread southern Plains precipitation next week, which seemingly spurred overnight wheat gains. However, technical resistance associated with the nearby contracts’ respective 40-day moving averages seemed to limit rally attempts. A push above those levels might trigger a sizeable follow-through. May CBOT wheat stalled at $5.035/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, while May KC wheat gained 2.75 cents to $5.455/bushel, and May MWE wheat rose 1.75 to $5.715.
Cattle futures leapt just before lunchtime Wednesday. Live cattle futures traded firmly this morning, with traders citing bull spreading and short-covering for the rise. Still, one also has to suspect fresh expectations for seasonal cash and wholesale strength played a role in the late-morning breakout to the upside. April cattle futures spiked 2.50 cents to 156.07 cents/pound around midsession Wednesday, while August cattle jumped 1.72 cents to 145.27 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures vaulted 1.92 cents to 211.95 cents/pound, and August feeders soared 2.05 to 212.02.
Hogs worked lower as the morning passed. In contrast to the big cattle/feeder market surge posted Wednesday morning, lean hog futures ground steadily lower. That very likely reflected contrasting cash and wholesale action, with hog traders being less than confident about short-term spot market prospects. April hog futures fell 0.75 cents to 61.02 cents/pound shortly before lunchtime Wednesday, while June hogs sank 0.25 to 75.55.