Chicago and Kansas City Wheat futures saw 2-sided trade today but settled low-range with Chicago 0.04 to 0.08 lower and Kansas City narrowly mixed. Minneapolis Wheat rallied late to finish fractionally to 0.0425 higher, with the exception of the May contract. Futures took their cue from the Corn market Wednesday, which also saw a mixed day of trade and softened into the close.

Corn futures got off to a firmer start but buying interest quickly dried up and futures drifted lower. Old-crop Corn ended 0.07 to 0.0725 lower, with September down 0.0625. New-crop Corn ended mostly between 0.02 to 0.03 lower. Funds were active sellers of 12,000 contracts today (60-M bu). The inability of the market to rally on positive news signals traders' focus is on the potential for a large 2012 crop.

Soybean futures closed 0.08 to 0.1225 higher in the May through Sept contract. The Nov through Mar Y 2013 contract finished 0.16 to 0.185 higher. Futures started very strong with old-crop contracts leading the way amid expectations declining South American crop forecasts will lead to additional strong demand for US Soybean. But after the initial wave of buying worked through the market, intra-day profit-taking kicked in.

Lean Hog futures closed 0.425 to 1.025 higher, which was anywhere from low-range to high-range. As was the case yesterday, lean Hog futures followed the lead of the Cattle market, this time to the upside on corrective buying. But buying interest was limited to short-covering amid ongoing concerns with the Pork product market.

Live Cattle futures enjoyed short-covering following yesterday's sharp to limit losses, closing 0.325 to 1.70 higher in the Y 2012 contracts. Feeder futures closed 0.45 to 1.025 higher. Ideas the market over-reacted to Tuesday's rumors and later confirmation of a BSE case in central California triggered short-covering Wednesday. But the market has a lot more work ahead of it to signal a near-term low has been posted.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.