Corn futures spent much of the day in the red and then firmed at the close to just above neutral. It feels like recent pressure after recent one-year highs may have signaled a reversal in corn, particularly as the weather forecast appears to be drier and absent extreme heat for the moment. Still, corn pushed higher during end of day trading. The EIA reported that last week’s ethanol inventory fell from 19.8 to 19.7 million barrels on a lower production of 984,000 barrels a day. This is still a robust production level despite the slippage and can offer some support. US gulf corn basis has firmed due to loss of barge traffic as the Coast Guard has closed 50 miles of the Illinois River due to high waters. September corn futures gained 1.25 cents to $4.295/bushel just at the close Wednesday, while December rose 1.5 cents to $4.4025.
NOPA soybean crush numbers beat expectations but that didn’t offer much support to beans. Soymeal, however firmed today as exports gained significantly at 596,573 tons, compared to 388,112 tons a year ago. NOPA soybean crush for June was 142.473 million bushels, 20% more than last year and 4% less than last month. The trade was expecting a 4.7-5.0% decrease over last month. Soyoil slipped on lower than expected stocks which came in at 1.574 bilion pounds, .25% lower than last month and 14.8% lower than a year ago. The trade expected a .25% increase over last month. August soybeans fell 8.5 cents to $10.25/bushel early Wednesday, while August soyoil lost .75 cents to 31.65 cents/pound and August meal jumped $5 to $362.2/ton.
Wheat futures rebounded from their overnight lows but still ended the day lower Wednesday in light of abundant U.S. and world stocks, positive weather, and a lack of competitiveness in the export market. Egypt continues to buy Russian and Romanian wheat as U.S. wheat is still priced out of the export market. Meanwhile Russian wheat prices has strengthened recently as wet weather in the southern regions is delaying harvest. September CBOT wheat futures firmed fell 8.5 cents to $4.25/bushel Wednesday, while Sep KC wheat dropped 2.25 cent to $5.5075/bushel, and September MWE slipped 1.75 cents to $5.865.
Yesterday’s bounce in live cattle was short-lived as futures resume their onward march south on Wednesday. While it appeared that pre-holiday selling might have been on the uptick, technical barriers have limited upside movements and confirmed sentiments about declining demand from competition with other meats. Box beef values slipped slightly but seem to be nearing a low. August cattle lost.12 cents to 147.02 cents/pound Wednesday, while December futures were neutral at 152.27. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures rose .75 cents to 215.15 cents/pound, and November feeders gained .60 to 209.87.
Buying in the cash hog market seems to be accelerating based on the lean hog index surpassing the 80 cent level just a few weeks after hitting a low for June-July of around 77 cents. While futures continue to trade at a discount to cash, its seems that the spread is narrowing. Three weeks until another major U.S. holiday and another seasonal demand shift upward. This seasonal shift is marked by demand increasing trends like back to school events, tailgating, and increased grilling due to less projected rainfall. August hog futures slipped .47 cents to 75.30 cents/pound Wednesday, while December advanced .22 cents to 61.45.