The crop markets turned generally mixed Wednesday. The ongoing U.S. dollar rebound apparently continued weighing on the commodity markets, since a more valuable greenback increases costs faced by export customers. Good progress in planting the 2015 corn crop and the production implications of generally early plantings encourage bearish views on markets that are already well supplied. July corn futures slipped 2.0 cents to $3.60/bushel Wednesday, while December lost 3.0 to $3.7725.
Soybeans and meal remained under downward pressure. Ideas that current U.S. growing conditions favor a strong start to the soybean crop seemed to drag the soy complex lower Wednesday. Big South American supplies aren’t helping the bullish cause either, nor is the latest U.S. dollar resurgence. Oil futures pushed above unchanged levels in concert with rising crude and palm oil quotes; that may have brought bean prices off their overnight lows. July soybean futures dropped 5.0 cents to $9.4125/bushel as Wednesday’s CBOT session ended, while July soyoil rose 0.02 cents to 32.20 cents/pound, and July meal sank $2.6 to $304.5/ton.
The wheat markets turned mostly higher at Wednesday’s close. News that Ukraine officials had boosted that country’s wheat harvest forecast seemed to exaggerate other bearish factors, especially concurrent U.S. dollar strength, last night. However, golden grain prices firmed this morning, with weather news likely encouraging bulls. Soggy conditions in the southern Plains and cold in the northern states could hurt forthcoming yield potential. July CBOT wheat futures settled up 2.75 cents to $5.13/bushel Wednesday, while July KC wheat rallied 5.0 cents to $5.45/bushel, and July MWE wheat gained 4.0 to $5.6825.
Cattle futures reversed field again Wednesday. Recent CME strength and Tuesday afternoon news that choice beef cutout had surged to a fresh record supported the nearby contracts upon today’s opening. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the strength and prices turned decidedly lower. The cattle/beef industry apparently remains pessimistic about late spring and summer price prospects. June live cattle futures sank 0.62 cents to 151.35 cents/pound in late Wednesday action, while August cattle dropped 0.87 to 149.72. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures tumbled 0.45 cents to 216.70 cents/pound, and November feeders tumbled 1.05 to 214.10.
Hog futures ended the day strongly. The livestock/meat industry also appears to be anticipating a seasonal decline in hog and pork prices, with talk of early cash weakness offsetting the latest rise in the CME index. However, the late-day surge in the summer contracts suggests spot market news improved as the day passed. June hog futures ended Wednesday having advanced 0.40 cents to 82.55 cents/pound, while December gained 0.05 to 70.25.