Grain markets ended lower on Wednesday as the trade considered the possibility of bearish numbers in next Tuesday’s acreage/stocks report. US Ethanol production reached a record last week of 994,000 barrels per day, up 14,000 bpd from the week earlier and surpassing the 992,000 bpd achieved in the weeks ended June 5, 2015 and Dec 19, 2014. Still, corn backed off near 8-week highs today. Weather forecasts, though drier recently, still show above average rainfall in the 6-10 day outlook, particularly in the eastern Midwest. The US Dollar index is down .09 to 95.25. July corn futures fell 1 cent to $3.665/bushel at the close Wednesday, while December lost .75 cents to $3.805.
Soybeans extended their pullback Wednesday, perhaps on soymeal weakness. Brazil raised their 2014/15 crop estimate to 93.7 million tonnes from the 93.06 forecasted on June 1, adding to the global supply outlook. While new-crop beans tested new lows of 8.95 last week, nearby futures have been flirting with the $10 resistance level. Weather is still a factor as MO and KS struggle with an estimated 5 million soybean acres left to plant. July soybeans lowered 5.75 cents to $9.8175/bushel at the close Wednesday, while July soyoil gained 0.43 cents to 33.25 cents/pound, and July meal fell $4.1 to $327.9/ton.
Wheat futures weakened Wednesday, taking back some of yesterday’s premiums. Analysts continue to eye winter wheat harvest conditions, particularly with disease in Kansas, as well the dryness in Europe and the cooler weather concerns in Canada. July CBOT wheat futures slid 3.25 cents to $5.1825/bushel at the end of trading Wednesday, while July KC wheat dropped 5.75 cents to $5.245/bushel, and July MWE lost 5 cents to $5.6475.
Despite continued strength in cutout values, cattle futures were broadly lower Wednesday. July futures fell below the 40-day moving average of 152.07 perhaps resulting in further fund liquidation. Retail beef for the month of May set a record when average prices hit $6.412 per pound. Daily cattle slaughter numbers from the USDA were reported to be 104,000 head today, compared to 117,000 head a year ago. The estimated week-to-date slaughter value was 325,000 head, compared to 347,000 during the same period last year. August cattle futures fell 1.42 cents to 150.40 cents/pound at the close Wednesday, while December futures dropped 1.57 cents to 154.10. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slid 1.85 cents to 223.52 cents/pound, and November feeders lost 1.90 cents to 218.22.
Lean hog futures were mixed Wednesday perhaps from short covering and caution ahead of the upcoming report. Friday, the USDA will release the quarterly hogs and pigs report at 2pm. Markets have continued to adjust to futures being oversold. Nearby futures still remain well below the 40-day moving average of 80.84 cents/pound. August hog futures gained .17 cents to 72.42 cents/pound, while December dropped .05 cents to 60.90.