Talk of slow plantings seemed to boost corn futures Wednesday. Corn prices dipped overnight and appeared to be vulnerable to more of the same, especially with ethanol output slowing last week and an Argentine firm boosting that country’s harvest forecast. And yet, CBOT prices turned higher later in the days; sources cited the slow start to U.S. plantings. May corn futures settled 2.5 cents higher at $3.76/bushel Wednesday, while December added 1.5 to $4.005.
The soy complex responded weakly to good crush data. CBOT soy prices accelerated upward this morning, with wire services reports citing talk of improved domestic bean demand as powering the rise. The late morning NOPA Crush report was also interpreted as bullish, but futures set back from midsession highs soon thereafter. May soybean futures ended Wednesday having rallied 4.75 cents to $9.65/bushel, while May soyoil jumped 0.50 cents to 31.80 cents/pound, and May meal sagged $2.1 to $311.5/ton.
Wheat futures ended Wednesday on a down note. Golden grain prices rebounded from Tuesday losses last night despite the early U.S. dollar rebound. German and Russian news apparently offered support, but bulls couldn’t hold the line. Ultimately, forecasts for increased rainfall over southern Plains wheat fields appeared to send prices lower. May CBOT wheat slumped 6.25 cents to $4.9075/bushel in late Wednesday trading, while May KC wheat drooped 7.25 cents to $5.145/bushel, and May MWE wheat fell 8.75 to $5.4325.
Cattle futures sustained Tuesday’s advance. The large discounts built into cattle futures may have exaggerated Wednesday’s CME resurgence. The rise seemed technical in nature, but we also suspect wholesale firmness encouraged bulls as well. June cattle futures surged 1.25 cents to 151.67 cents/pound at their Wednesday close, while August cattle rallied 1.02 to 149.00 cents/pound. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures leapt 1.62 cents to 212.42 cents/pound, and August feeders vaulted 1.47 to 214.22.
Technical selling exaggerated Wednesday’s hog losses. April hogs futures slipped only slightly as its noon CDT expiration loomed morning, but the deferred contracts fell sharply. Sizeable futures premium probably rendered them vulnerable to aggressive technical selling, since mid-session quotes pointed to continued spot market firmness. June hog futures plunged 3.00 cents to 75.47 cents/pound as Wednesday’s CME pit session ended, while December dropped 1.40 to 67.40.