Corn futures settled mixed on Wednesday. The market traded choppy most of the trading session. Early on the market traded lower on trader profit taking and pressure from the outside markets. Weakness in the crude oil weighed on corn futures. Corn futures are currently driven by the weather. New crop contracts slipped as the northwest Midwest received rain on Tuesday. However, central and southeastern portions of the Midwest remain dry along with portions of the Corn Belt.
Soybean futures settled 8 to 11 cents higher on Wednesday. The market shook off pressure from bearish outside markets to close higher for the third consecutive day. Tightening supplies, firm international demand and concern that the 2012/13 soybean crop will see further stressful conditions due to lack of rain supported the market today. Traders will keep an eye on the weather as forecasts for warmer temperatures across the Midwest have not changed.
Wheat futures settled 8 to 42 cents higher on Wednesday. Wheat futures rallied to end the day on a higher note. News that the USDA may lower its 2012/13 wheat production forecast next month provoked a round of market short covering pushing market prices higher. Yesterday the market rallied on news that Russia reduced their 2012/13 wheat crop by 3 mmt to 50 mmt, possibly increasing demand for U.S. wheat.
Cattle futures settled lower on Wednesday. The market closed lower on expectations of a bearish Cattle on Feed Report. The report is expected to show May placements 13 percent higher than the previous year. Beef prices were mixed at midday but remain steady. Choice was up slightly and while select declined 67 cents. Trade in the cash market remains quit with a few isolated bids. Trade is anticipated to pick up Thursday – Friday with cash prices steady to lower.
Lean hog futures settled lower on Wednesday. The market closed down primarily due to profit taking. Initially the market saw support from higher wholesale pork prices, tight supplies and declining hog weights which helped to limit losses. Currently hog slaughter is up 1,000 head but down 7,000 head a year ago. Trade in the cash market has eased but is still anticipated to remain steady due to tight supplies.