Lean hog futures settled lower on Wednesday. The market was higher at times on short-covering, but futures were pressured by steady to lower cash markets and concerns about demand. High gas prices are expected to slow the normal seasonally improvement in demand. Packer margins are poor and they are trying to improve profitability. However, tightening supplies of market ready hogs are expected to limit weakness in the cash market. June closed 40 cents lower at $96.70 and August was 13 cents lower at $97.85.

Corn futures closed lower on Wednesday. Long liquidation, profit-taking and spillover weakness from wheat weighed on futures as traders were cautious ahead of the comments on inflation and monetary policy by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke this afternoon. New-crop was pulled lower as well despite more rainfall in the southern and eastern Midwest that will further delay planting progress. May ended 14 cents lower at $7.52 1/4 and December was 8 1/2 cents lower at $6.67 1/4.

Soybean futures settled lower on Wednesday. Futures traded higher late in the session along with gains in crude oil while the dollar was weaker, but gains eroded at the close on liquidation once Federal Reserve chairman had a press conference on inflation and the economy. The Fed earlier announced plans to leave U.S. rates unchanged. New-crop futures are being pressured by ideas that corn planting delays could lead to additional soybean acres. May ended 4 3/4 cents lower at $13.78 and November was 6 1/4 cents low3er at $13.68 1/2.