Corn futures are trading lower at midsession. There is little fresh news this morning, but futures are drifting lower amid strength in the dollar index. South American corn production prospects continue to influence trade. While weather conditions have improved recently in Argentina and Brazil, rains came late in the growing season and crop prospects are down from early season estimates. March is trading 2 3/4 cents lower at $6.40 1/4 and May is 3 cents lower at $6.46 1/4.
Soybean futures are higher at midday. Strength in the cash market is helping support futures. Farmer sales have been slow and export demand has picked up recently. The USDA attaché in Argentina lowered its soybean production estimate for Argentina to 46.5 million metric tons from 50.5 million previously. Drought earlier in the growing season has hampered yield prospects although conditions have improved this week. March is 8 3/4 cents higher at $12.25 3/4 and May is 8 1/4 cents higher at $12.33 3/4.
Wheat futures are lower at midday. The market is being pressured by strength in the dollar index and moderating temperatures in eastern Europe and Russia, which will limit further damage to the winter wheat crops there. Statistics Canada has estimated total wheat stocks as of the end of the year at 20.96 million metric tons, up 0.6% from last year. CBOT March is 2 3/4 cents lower at $6.60, KCBT March is 2 1/4 cents lower at $7.15 1/2 and MGE March is 3 1/2 cents lower at $8.32 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. The market is easing on caution about the cash market developing later today. Packers are in need of cattle, but poor margins have led to reduced slaughter. A snowstorm in the Plains could hamper feedlot operations in some parts, but recent forecast have dialed back the area and amount of snow predicted. February is 28 cents lower at $124.88 and April is 25 cents lower at $128.65.
Lean hog futures are slightly higher at midday. The steady to firm tone in the cash market is supporting futures. Seasonally tightening supplies have been supportive recently, but poor packer processing margins have limited strength in the cash market due to reduced slaughter schedules. February is 18 cents higher at $87.75 and April is 23 cents higher at $89.98.
Cotton futures are trading solidly higher this morning. Fund buying is supporting the market amid strength in the stock market. A Labor Department report this morning showed the economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January. March is 218 points higher at 96.39 cents and May is 201 points higher at 97.50 cents.