Talk of robust demand reportedly boosted corn futures Wednesday morning. Wire service reports indicate that traders were sustaining their positive reaction to Tuesday’s weekly Export Inspections report. That would seemingly explain the yellow grain’s firmness in the face of the soybean reversal. March corn edged up 1.0 cent to $4.505/bushel by late Wednesday morning, while May rose 1.25 at $4.5675.
Chinese news sank the soy complex. Talk of South American productions problems reemphasized the tightness of the US soybean situation to start this week, with futures building upon Tuesday’s big gains overnight. However, the market was hit with news that Chinese inspectors had found US soybean shipments contaminated with corn containing the unapproved MIR162 gene. The prospect of reduced or refused soybean shipments into China very likely sparked the subsequent CBOT reversal. March soybeans fell 9.0 cents to $13.52/bushel late Wednesday morning, while March soyoil sank 0.22 cents to 40.14 cents/pound, and March soymeal tumbled $4.2 to $452.7/ton.
Weather concerns continue supporting the wheat markets. Traders continue talking about the relative tightness of the U.S. wheat situation and about the potential impact of wintry conditions and Canadian transport problems. The prospect of another arctic blast over the Midwest next week seemed particularly pertinent this morning. March CBOT wheat futures rose 4.0 cents at $6.16/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while March KCBT wheat futures added 3.75 cents to $6.895, and March MWE futures inched 1.25 higher to $6.805.
Cattle futures firmed Wednesday morning. Cattle futures rallied strongly Tuesday in response to strong beef gains posted early this week. Prices slipped somewhat last night as traders awaited developments. Today’s early gains probably reflect renewed optimism about the likely outcome of this week’s cash market action. April cattle futures bounced 0.15 cents to 142.27 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, while August lost 0.07 to 131.92. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle gained 0.12 cents to 171.82 cents/pound, but May skidded 0.07 to 173.67.
Rumors of cash strength also supported hog futures. Recent CME gains show hog traders expect tightening hog and pork supplies during the coming weeks. The situation could be extremely tight during spring and summer, which is probably why those contracts outperformed the nearby April futures this morning. April hogs moved up 0.35 cents to 97.62 cents/pound Wednesday morning, while June rallied 0.52 to 107.85.
Cotton traders seemed to take their cue from the soybean market Wednesday. The ICE cotton market continues lacking for substantive news at this point. Futures seemingly dipped in concert with equity index futures overnight, but failed to rebound with stocks around midmorning. Instead, traders appeared to look to the soybean market for leadership, with prices declining in concert with beans in late morning action. March cotton dropped 0.69 cents at 87.22 cents/pound soon after midday (EST) Wednesday, while July cotton tumbled 0.43 to 88.57.