Short covering reportedly boosted corn futures. After holding up rather well in the wake of Tuesday’s bearishly construed WASDE report, corn prices slipped this morning. Conversely, futures rebounded moderately in late-session trading, which wire service sources attributed to broad short covering. We suspect today’s big U.S. dollar drop spurred bullish interest in commodities. July corn futures ended Wednesday having gained 1.25 cents to $3.6225/bushel, while December bounced 2.5 to $3.785.
The soy complex ended Wednesday in decidedly mixed fashion. After performing quite poorly in the wake of Tuesday’s WASDE report, soybeans rebounded today. Concerns about slowing planting rates, as well as the potential for cold damage to beans growing in northern areas reportedly offered support. Soyoil spend much of the day at lower levels, but posted a strong late-session advance. That probably flipped the meal market lower as well. July soybean futures edged up 1.75 cents to $9.5725/bushel as CBOT pit trading ended Wednesday, while July soyoil rallied 0.27 cents to 32.24 cents/pound, but July meal slid $1.0 to $302.4/ton.
The wheat markets staged a Wednesday afternoon comeback. Golden grain prices have fluctuated substantially since the WASDE report’s release, with much of the action having few obvious drivers. Today’s midsession drop seemed to reflect the report’s bearish implications, but sellers couldn’t sustain the downward momentum. The subsequent rebound was probably powered by active short-covering, with technicians and pragmatic traders apparently jumping on the bullish bandwagon late in the day. July CBOT wheat futures closed 1.0 cent higher at $4.815/bushel Wednesday, while July KC wheat climbed 1.75 cents to $5.095/bushel, and July MWE wheat rebounded 3.5 to $5.40.
Cattle futures performed surprisingly well. Wholesale beef prices have remained quite strong lately, which probably reflects grocery industry buying for planned Memorial Day features. The industry expects prices to slide later this month, but having futures already trading at substantial discounts may have opened the door for today’s climb. Technicians are probably looking for more of the same in the short run. June live cattle futures settled 0.50 cents higher at 151.97 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while August cattle ran up 1.00 to 150.65 Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures jumped 1.17 cents to 217.62 cents/pound, and November feeders vaulted 1.30 to 214.67.
Weak midday quotes capped hog gains. Tuesday’s strong performance and big afternoon pork gains seemed to set the stage for a follow-through surge in CME hogs. That didn’t happen, with most contracts trading underwater all morning. Futures were coming back, but surprising cash and wholesale weakness on the midday reports apparently capped rally attempts. June hog futures stumbled 0.27 cents lower to 84.77 cents/pound at Wednesday’s CME close, while December sagged 0.55 to 70.05.