Chicago Close: US Dollar Strength Weighs

Strength in the US dollar weighed as corn, wheat and soybean futures all fell in trading Wednesday.

A higher dollar makes US grains less attractively priced to foreign buyers, with the greenback finding support today from higher treasury note yields. Soybeans were further pressured by a lack of fresh news from No. 1 buyer China. The new-crop soy/corn ratio, at about 2.58:1, still favours an increase in soybean acres this spring over corn. May soybeans dropped a nickel to $14.07 ½ and new-crop November fell 5 ¾ cents to $12.24.

Corn fell on the dollar firmness as well as continued weakness in US ethanol production Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show average per day ethanol production for the week ended Feb. 26 at 849,000 barrels, midway between 659,000 the previous week and 911,000 before the historic cold snap that impacted production levels. May corn was down 9 ¾ cents at $5.35 ¼ and December dipped 2 ¼ cents to $4.73 ½.

Wheat was further pressured by forecasts for rain in parts of the drought-plagued southern Plains. The five-day outlook calls for rain along the southern border of Kansas into Oklahoma, with amounts topping 1 ½ inches. May Chicago wheat was down 10 ¼ cents at $6.56, May Kansas City dropped 9 ¼ cents to $6.26 and May Minneapolis eased 2 ¼ cents to $6.43.

Live cattle ended mixed today. Lean hogs were higher.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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