The EIA report apparently weighed on corn futures Wednesday. 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 settled 2.25 cents lower at $3.8575/bushel Wednesday, while July dipped 2.5 to $4.0125.
Spot market tightness reportedly boosted 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 reportedly boosted country bids, which in turn supported Chicago prices. Soyoil rallied even though the crude and palm oil markets have weakened today. March soybean futures rebounded 8.75 cents to $9.7775/bushel as Wednesday’s CBOT session ended, while March soyoil rose 0.30 cents to 31.75 cents/pound, and March meal added $2.7 to $329.6/ton.
Weather news may have supported 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 were 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 degrees expected in Wichita. On the other hand, spring wheat in Minneapolis also rallied. March CBOT wheat climbed 4.0 cents to $5.2575/bushel in late Wednesday action, while March KC wheat gained 5.25 to $5.5925/bushel, and March MWE wheat surged 6.0 to $5.76.
Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Wednesday. There was little early morning news concerning the cattle markets, with wire service reports citing profit-taking for the surprising morning decline. Sourced cited concerns about excessive supplies, but stifled exports are very likely playing a big role in the current bear market. April live cattle futures had dived 2.67 cents to 151.10 cents/pound when the CME pit session halted, while August cattle tumbled 2.32 cents to 141.77 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures crashed 3.27 cents to 198.75 cents/pound and May feeders plummeted 3.55 to 198.27.
Persistent cash weakness seemed to depress 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. Pork cutouts bounced significantly at midsession, but that did little to limit Chicago losses. April hog futures dove 2.75 cents to 63.82 cents/pound at Wednesday’s CME settlement, while June hogs plunged 2.40 to 77.22.