The EIA report may be weighing on corn futures. The weekly EIA report on U.S. energy supplies seemed generally bearish for petroleum and products, as well as ethanol, with stocks of the latter reportedly reaching a two-year high. That may explain the corn market’s decline in the face of firming soy and wheat futures. March corn slid 1.5 cents to $3.865/bushel late Wednesday morning, while July dipped 1.75 to $4.02.
Spot market tightness may be boosting the soy complex. Despite the unsupportive result of Tuesday’s WASDE report, producers are reportedly taking their time in selling last year’s soybean crop. As a result, buyers have reportedly boosted country bids, which in turn is supporting Chicago prices. Soyoil rallied even though the crude and palm oil markets have weakened today. March soybean futures rebounded 7.0 cents to $9.76/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, while March soyoil rose 0.16 cents to 31.61 cents/pound, and March meal added $1.7 to $328.6/ton.
Weather news may be supporting the wheat markets. Wire service reports cited southern Plains dryness for a portion of today’s bounce in wheat futures, but we also have to wonder if traders are worried about the current lack of snow cover ahead of weekend cold. For example, forecast weekend lows for St. Louis are currently around 6 degrees Fahrenheit, with 19% expected in Wichita. On the other hand, spring wheat in Minneapolis is also rallying. March CBOT wheat climbed 3.5 cents to $5.2525/bushel in late Wednesday morning action, while March KC wheat gained 7.5 to $5.615/bushel, and March MWE wheat surged 7.5 to $5.7775.
Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Wednesday morning. There was little early morning news concerning the cattle markets, with wire service reports citing profit-taking for the surprising decline experienced as the morning passed. That may partially have reflected pessimism about Asian export prospects due to the West Coast situation. On the other hand, midday beef quotes rose significantly, which may bode well for afternoon action. April live cattle futures dove 1.47 cents to 152.30 cents/pound around midsession Wednesday, while August cattle tumbled 1.30 cents to 142.80 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures fell 1.22 cents to 200.80 cents/pound and May feeders sank 1.05 to 200.77.
Persistent cash weakness seems to be depressing CME hogs. With the West Coast port situation seeming likely to limit exports for at several more weeks, hog traders are not confident about the short-term price outlook. That probably explains today’s early losses. Conversely, pork cutouts also bounced at midsession, which could provide support in Chicago. April hog futures plummeted 2.00 cents to 64.57 cents/pound just before lunchtime Wednesday, while June hogs plunged 1.67 to 77.95.