US dollar losses boosted the commodity sector Wednesday. The first estimate of first-quarter 2015 U.S. GDP fell far short of forecasts, thereby weighing on the dollar and domestic equities. The greenback breakdown looks quite supportive of the commodity sector, since it suggests a commensurate drop in the cost of American goods to export customers. Corn reacted modestly continuing Tuesday’s bounce from firm chart support. May corn futures closed up 2.75 cents to $3.6375/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December added 3.0 to $3.855.
The soy complex led the crop markets higher. Talk that accelerated spring plantings will cause an acreage shift toward corn reportedly boosted the soybean and product markets today, as did news of harbor pilot strike at Argentina’s main grain shipping port. Today’s dollar drop also spurred soy gains. May soybean futures jumped 11.0 cents to $9.885/bushel as Wednesday CBOT pit session ended, while May soyoil gained 0.24 cents to 31.47 cents/pound, and May meal ran up $5.5 to $324.2/ton.
The wheat markets sustained Tuesday’s bounce as the day passed. Wheat futures seemed to post a modest bullish reversal signal Tuesday and generally rallied overnight. Prices sagged around midsession, with nearby KC quotes actually lower at noon, which probably reflected a Russian official’s statement that the country’s wheat export tax will soon be cancelled. Nevertheless, futures mounted an impressive advance into the close. May CBOT wheat futures rallied 5.75 cents to $4.7725/bushel in late Wednesday action, while May KC wheat bounced 3.5 cents to $5.0075/bushel, and May MWE wheat climbed 6.75 to $5.3525.
Cattle futures posted mixed Wednesday closes. Although the U.S. is currently a net beef importer, the value and quality of U.S. sales still makes the market sensitive to big currency swings. Thus, today’s dollar weakness, as well as recent wholesale strength, encouraged CME cattle buying. However, futures turned mixed in late trading, which may have reflected talk about this week’s likely cash market outcome. June cattle futures ended Wednesday having declined 0.22 cents to 150.90 cents/pound, while August cattle moved up 0.35 to 149.15. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures vaulted 0.70 cents to 213.05 cents/pound, and August feeders jumped 0.82 to 214.70.
Weight news may have exaggerated CME hog buying. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets continued their seasonal advance Tuesday, with some bullish technical strength seeming to carry over from Tuesday’s GLOBEX trade. Today’s U.S. dollar losses also seemed supportive, but news of a big drop in hog weights last week suggests swine supplies and pork production could slow sharply during the coming weeks. June hog futures leapt 1.30 cents to 81.20 cents/pound at their Wednesday settlement and December ascended 0.40 to 69.00.