U.S. dollar gains weighing on commodities Wednesday morning

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Country markets for corn reportedly traded steady-firm Wednesday morning, which probably supported nearby CBOT futures. Meanwhile, talk that the current Midwest planting window is closing may have sparked the morning rebound from early losses. Conversely, bulls seem unwilling to push the commodity markets higher in the face of continued U.S. dollar strength. For example, the greenback has not been higher versus the Japanese yen since 2008. July corn rose 1.25 cents to $6.5375/bushel Wednesday morning, while December slid 3.0 cent to $5.35.

Soybean prices at various country markets were called steady this morning, which gives credence to recent talk that surging prices had undercut current demand. That may also help explain the old-crop weakness showing up in Chicago. This slippage is even more surprising when one considers late news of a dockworker strike at two major Brazilian ports, since that seems likely to send bean business to the U.S if it persists. July soybean futures slipped 3.75 cents to $14.11/bushel late Wednesday morning, while July soyoil dipped 0.15 cents to 49.61 cents/pound, and July soybean meal lost $2.1 to $409.7/ton.

The wheat markets came under renewed downward pressure Wednesday morning, with U.S. dollar strength very likely playing a role in the slide. However, wire service reports were quick to blame improved weather over the central U.S., with warmth likely speeding winter wheat growth and dryness allowing spring wheat plantings to accelerate. July CBOT wheat futures fell 8.75 cents to $7.02/bushel, while July KCBT wheat sank 5.75 cents to $7.6125, and July MGE futures lost 2.25 cents to $8.09.

Record beef prices are very likely supporting the nearby June live cattle contract, since producers will probably be more inclined to hold the line on cash prices as a consequence. However, CME traders may also be worrying that the current surge will strangle consumer beef demand down the road when soaring wholesale prices are passed on to them. That might explain the slippage seen in deferred futures. June cattle climbed 0.22 cents to 121.00 cents/pound around lunchtime Wednesday while December skidded 0.07 cents to 125.30. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures dropped 0.65 cents to 145.77 cents/pound, while November fell 0.72 cents to 150.82.

Early reports of cash market firmness probably supported CME lean hog futures Wednesday morning. That country strength apparently continued the advance exhibited Tuesday and defied the negative influence of the Tuesday afternoon setback in wholesale prices. June hog futures rallied 0.30 cents to 92.90 cents/pound late Wednesday morning, while December futures added 0.02 cents to 77.92.



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