Corn futures are trading slightly higher at midsession. Last week’s rally in corn prices has discouraged buying and consumers have been looking at other options in place of corn, which is keeping pressure on prices despite expectations for bullish reports from USDA on Monday. Average trade estimates for yield of 148.8 bushels compare to USDA’s August estimate of 153 bushels, and the average trade production estimate of 12.5 billion bushels compares to USDA’s August estimate of 12.914 billion. December is 1/4 of a cent higher at $7.34 1/4 and March is 1/2 of a cent higher at $7.47 1/4.
Soybean futures are slightly higher at midday. Prices are up on pre-report positioning as the trade looks for bullish cuts to the soybean supply. The average of trade estimates pegs production at 3.025 billion bushels with a yield of 41.0 bushels per acre due to hot dry weather across the Midwest in August. The rally in the dollar index carries to the highest level in the past six months. November is 1/2 of a cent higher at $14.18 3/4 and January is 1/2 of a cent higher at $14.29.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midsession. The rally in the dollar index to a six-month high is weighing wheat prices this morning. Adding pressure is news that India will not have any trade restrictions on wheat. Monday’s supply/demand report is expected to show a slight decrease in 2011/12 ending stocks, with the average trade estimate at 667 million bushels. Increased competition for exports is coming from the Black Sea region. CBOT December is 7 1/4 cents lower at $7.30 3/4, KCBT December is 5 1/2 cents lower at $8.40 1/2 and MGE December is 3/4 of a cent lower at $9.07 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midday. Cash cattle trade is higher this morning as packers are filling orders for this week’s slaughter needs. Despite the strength in cash prices, futures are down under pressure from slipping beef cutout prices and tightening packer margins. U.S. beef plant margins are reportedly down to $18.60 per head compared to $40.90 a week ago. October is 43 cents higher at $119.25 and December is 20 cents lower at $118.85.
Lean hog futures are trading higher at midsession. Steady to higher trade in the cash market and strength in pork cutout values are providing support to the futures market. Packer margins are good, which is encouraging more slaughter and greater demand in the cash market. A big Saturday slaughter is planned to help make up for the plant closures on Monday due to the Labor Day holiday. October is 65 cents higher at $87.45 and December is 43 cents higher at $83.55.