U.S. lean hog futures ended higher, as wholesale pork prices and expectations supplies could tighten underpinned the market. June lean hogs ended up 215 to 94.55. Deferred contracts posted more modest gains, with the August contract gaining 147 to 92.07.
U.S. live cattle futures sank Wednesday amid a lack of fresh buyers as traders worry about consumer beef demand. Feeder cattle were also lower. June live cattle fell 110 to $120, august live cattle fell 115 to $119, and August feeders fell 215 to $144.
U.S. corn futures settled higher Wednesday amid concerns that strong demand could shrink already tight domestic supplies. Soybean futures ended higher, with tight domestic stockpiles continuing to buoy nearby contracts and wheat futures settled mixed, with concerns about winter wheat crop production potential providing price support.
July corn rose 18 1/2 to $6.58, July soybeans finished up 16 at $14.94, July wheat in Chicago ended up 8 at $6.88, and Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat rose 4 3/4 to $7.43.
Cotton futures bounced Wednesday morning after tumbling in the previous session. The market should continue to be supported not only by Chinese raw cotton purchases, but also by cotton yarn imports, which have recorded double or triple digit year-over-year growth. July cotton gained 2 to 83.88, and December new crop gained 24 to 84.39.
Gold futures extended their losses in electronic trading Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's May policy-setting meeting showed board members weighed an early end to the central bank's bond-buying program. June gold finished down $10.50 at $1,356.20, and June silver gained 10 cents to $22.44.
Crude futures dropped Wednesday on a government report showing rising fuel supplies and signs that the Federal Reserve may be closer to winding down stimulus efforts. U.S. gasoline stockpiles rose by three-million barrels last week, according to the Energy Department, surprising analysts who had forecast a 100,000-barrel decline, as fuel imports surged ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. July crude fell $1.90 to $94.28 a barrel, June gasoline fell 2.64 cents to $2.81 a gallon, and June distillates closed down to $2.87 a gallon.
Natural gas futures inched back from a two-week high Wednesday, following a steep rally driven by forecasts for hot weather in the coming weeks. June Natural gas fell a fraction to $4.18.
On Wall Street, stocks fell with the S&P posting its biggest decline in three weeks, after minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed some officials were open to tapering large-scale asset purchases as early as at the June meeting. The Dow fell 80 to 15,307, the Nasdaq closed at 3,463, down 38 and the S&P 500 lost 13 to finish the day at 1,655.