Corn futures are trading mixed at midday. Export demand continues as South Korean feed mills are tending for new-crop corn. As expected there were no delivery notices against May futures. Weekend showers covered most of the Corn Belt. Frequent showers across the Midwest over the next week to ten days will cause planting delays. Expectations are for planting progress this afternoon to come in from 40%-45%, compared to 27% for the five-year average. July corn is 1 1/2 cents higher at $6.27. The December contract is 1/2 of a cent lower at $5.37 ¾.
Soybean futures are trading mixed at midsession. April 30 is First Notice Day for the May futures. The CBOT announced unexpectedly large soybean delivery notices that totaled 752. Last week the trade anticipated zero to at most 200 notices. USDA did announce weekend sales of 220,000 tonnes of new-crop beans to China. However, Chinese buying may be slow this week due to the May Day week-long holiday in China. Weekend rains in the central U.S. are generally viewed as beneficial to crops given their fast planting start. The July contract is down 2 1/4 cents at $14.91 3/4 and the November contract is 1/2 of a cent higher at $13.62 1/2.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midday. Prices are being pressured by favorable rains in the U.S. Plains over the weekend. The annual winter wheat crop tour is getting underway this week and we will provide you with additional insights. There were also timely rains in Eastern Europe, which will alleviate concerns over dryness. This morning’s inspections came in at 19.8 billion bushels, down from the previous week. Additional pressure on the KCBT contracts is coming from the exceptionally large deliveries made against the May contract. CBOT July is 2 1/2 cents lower at $6.47 1/2; KCBT July is 6 1/2 cents lower at $6.52 1/2, and MGE July is 6 3/4 cents lower at $7.72.
Cattle futures are mixed at midday. Futures were higher in the overnight trade, but have traded both sides of unchanged so far in the day session. The April contract expires at noon. June’s steep discount to last week’s cash trade is supportive, but beef prices were lower on Friday, putting traders on edge especially in the wake of the recent BSE news. June cattle futures are 15 cents higher $113.00 and August is 10 cents higher at $115.65.
Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. Hog futures prices continue to drift lower on Monday in response to lower cash hog prices on Friday and weaker outside markets. Reports of early cash market activity shows buyers bidding steady to lower prices Monday morning. Most hog futures contracts are at new life-of-contract lows and chart patterns are very negative. The June contract is down 25 cents at $86.35. July is 83 cents lower at $86.70.