Ag markets posted variable settlements Wednesday afternoon

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Weather forecasts kept corn futures under pressure Wednesday. Grain and soy futures reacted poorly to the weekly USDA Crop Progress report. Although the ratings for corn and soybeans matched expectations, traders apparently took a dim view of the results. Moreover, the latest weather forecasts suggested a significant chance of rainfall late next week, which could improve fall harvests and depress prices. September corn closed 4.0 cents lower at $4.94/bushel Wednesday afternoon, while December fell 5.75 cents to $4.695.

The soy complex fell sharply in reaction to the weather news. The weekly Crop Progress report lowered the condition rating for the current soybean crop 4%, thereby matching industry expectations. Overnight losses suggested underlying weakness. That became even more apparent when weather forecasts added a chance of Corn Belt rainfall late next week. September soybeans plunged 37.75 cents to $13.9775/bushel late in Wednesday’s session, while November beans dove 34.25 to $13.525. September soyoil sank 0.26 cents to 43.56 cents/pound, and September soymeal plummeted $16.8 to $468.6/ton.

The wheat markets recovered from early Wednesday losses. As one would expect, wheat futures followed corn and soybeans lower in early trading. However, golden grain values came back later in the day. Talk that storms had damaged the Manitoba wheat crop may have supported prices, as did a lack of offers on a snap buying tender from Egypt. September CBOT wheat dipped 2.25 cents to $6.3425/bushel at its Wednesday close, whereas September KCBT wheat rebounded 8.25 cents to $7.05, and September MGE futures jumped 11.25 cents to $7.15.

Cattle futures sagged again Wednesday. After proving surprisingly weak Tuesday afternoon, wholesale beef managed only a slight gain by noon today. These reports probably disappointed traders generally expecting seasonal strength during the days and weeks just ahead. October cattle futures slid 0.20 cents to 126.00 cents/pound in late Wednesday action, while December declined 0.20 cents to 129.90. September feeder cattle slipped 0.15 cents to 157.02 cents/pound, while November was unchanged at 159.90.

Anticipation of tighter short-term supplies boosted hog futures Wednesday. Cash and wholesale prices proved surprisingly strong Tuesday afternoon and pork values rose again around midsession. This morning’s Iowa-Southern Minnesota report also stated hog weights below last week, thereby implying heat-stress is hampering hog performance and tightening short-term supplies. October hog futures surged 1.13 cents to 89.12 cents/pound at its Wednesday settlement, while December rallied 0.87 cents to 85.85.



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