Ag markets were mixed again Wednesday morning

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Corn futures gave back a portion of early-week gains Wednesday morning. After having rallied nicely in the wake of last Friday’s USDA reports, corn futures declined modestly this morning. This could reflect the nearby contracts’ failure at moving average resistance yesterday, but wire service sources also cited industry fears of an adverse EPA decision on the size of the future ethanol mandate. December corn futures dipped 2.25 cents to $4.30/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while May sank 3.75 at $4.4925.

Oil futures are still supporting the soy complex. The USDA again announced a sizeable soybean sale to China this morning. In addition, traders concerned about the global vegetable oil situation after recent weather systems damaged Southeast Asian palm oil prospects were buying soyoil futures. However, nearby soy futures seem to be encountering substantial technical resistance around old pivot points on the charts. January soybean futures slid 2.5 cents to $13.12/bushel late Wednesday morning, while December soyoil gained 0.18 cents to 40.93 cents/pound, and December soymeal lost $2.2 to $425.5/ton.

The wheat markets moved mostly lower Wednesday. After having suffered from persistent selling since mid-October, wheat futures seem to be trying to bottom. However, the positive winter wheat readings on Tuesday’s Crop Progress reports, as well as corn and soybean weakness, kept downward pressure upon futures. December CBOT wheat futures rose 3.75 cent to $6.49/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, and December KCBT wheat futures edged up 0.75 cent to $7.04, while December MWE futures slipped 0.5 to $7.0075.

Cattle futures rose despite Tuesday’s beef decline. CME traders apparently hope to see continued cash market gains later this week, which probably explains the gains posted by nearby futures this morning despite the sizeable wholesale losses posted yesterday afternoon. December cattle futures rallied 0.45 cents to 133.12 cents/pound in late Wednesday morning trading, while April futures sagged 0.05 to 134.95. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle surged 0.62 cents to 164.82 cents/pound, and March feeders added 0.47 cents to 164.67.

Surging weights are probably depressing hog quotes today. Although reduced supplies have provided considerable support for the hog and pork complex since mid-August, hog weights have soared lately. That suggests market-ready supplies are more liquid than previously thought, thereby implying greater numbers and lower supplies in late fall and early winter. December hog futures tumbled 0.65 cents to 86.55 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Wednesday, while April dropped 0.55 to 92.77.

Cotton futures sustained their late bounce this morning. The latest news seemed rather bearish for cotton, with much of the U.S. harvest still in the fields and Chinese sources talking about potential sales from state reserves. Thus, the ongoing rally still seems technically driven. However, the rise now has the December contract bumping up against its 20-day moving average, which could prove rather formidable. December cotton climbed 0.49 cents to 78.37 cents/pound around noon (EST) Wednesday, while March cotton gained 0.46 cents to 78.68.



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