Ag markets were generally mixed early Wednesday morning

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After rebounding strongly from the Monday financial market breakdown on Tuesday, corn futures were slightly lower early Wednesday morning. There was little substantive news, which caused traders to fall back on their own devices. We are inclined to view the overnight selling as profit-taking on long positions established on Monday. May corn dipped 2.0 cents to $6.6125/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while December slipped 2.75 cents to $5.38.

The soybean complex proved rather weak early Wednesday morning. After rising slightly in belated response to comments from Oil World overnight, the gains faded as the sun was rising. The German firm suggested South American export problems could shift Chinese soybean buying back to the U.S. market and argued that most estimates of South American production are too high. May soybeans gained 0.25 cent to $14.1175/bushel in early Wednesday morning action, while May soyoil skidded 0.11 cents to 48.87 cents/pound, and May meal climbed $1.6 to $402.9/ton.

Wheat futures moved modestly higher Tuesday night, thereby seeming to revert to weather news for direction. That is, with the Southern Plains under threat of frost again Thursday and Friday and the Northern Plains apparently vulnerable to flooding later this spring, the forthcoming U.S. wheat harvest looks increasingly tenuous. May CBOT wheat futures rose 0.75 cents to $7.0425/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May KCBT wheat edged 0.25 cent higher to $7.42, and May MGE futures lifted 0.5 cent to $8.1025.

Cattle futures rebounded from the broad Monday breakdown Tuesday, due in part to reports that the weak cash trading seen Monday was isolated. Nearby futures rose slightly again Tuesday night, which may have reflected the firmness exhibited by wholesale values during the afternoon. Conversely, slipping deferred futures may have reflected prospects for much cheaper feed next fall, which might spark increase livestock and meat production. June cattle inched upward 0.02 cents to 120.47 cents/pound in early Wednesday electronic trading, while December lost 0.22 cents to 125.65. May feeder cattle futures slid 0.07 cents to 139.97 cents/pound, and August slipped 0.22 cents to 146.25.

Hog futures declined modestly early Wednesday morning, which rather surprising given the firm nature of Tuesday afternoon cash and wholesale news. Direct market values west of the Mississippi River moved somewhat higher, as did pork cutout. Eastern Corn Belt prices dipped, but are generally viewed as being less important than those out of the west. The futures slide may simply reflect the anticipated drop in the CME index later this morning; that would mark its first decline since late March. May hog futures skidded 0.10 cents to 86.70 cents/pound in early Wednesday morning action, while the June contract fell 0.22 cents to 88.80.

Cotton futures dropped to their lowest levels since late February Tuesday, then bounced moderately overnight. As with the grain and soy complexes, there was little news concerning the white fiber market. Savvy traders probably view the big Monday-Tuesday drop as being overdone, since the Chinese situation will probably have deteriorate badly before they will abandon their recent policy of building massive commodity stockpiles. May cotton advanced 0.37 cents to 83.72 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December bounced 0.40 cents to 85.15.



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