Corn futures are trading strongly higher at midsession. Tight stocks, firm cash markets and talk of export demand with China are supporting the market. Old-crop gains are leading new-crop due to bull-spreading. New-crop has been pulled higher, but gains have been muted by ideas of a big increase in corn acreage this spring. May is 11 1/2 cents higher at $6.56 1/2 and December is 3 1/2 cents higher at $5.66.
Soybean futures are mixed at midday. The old-crop contracts are being supported by spillover strength from corn and the underlying bullish factors of strong demand and smaller soybean crops in South America. However, weakness in crude oil futures and some profit-taking following recent gains to near six-month higher are weighing lightly on new-crop. May is 1 1/2 cents higher at $13.39 1/4 while November is 2 1/4 cents lower at 13.03.
Wheat futures opened lower, but have turned higher at midsession on spillover support from corn. The dollar index is slightly lower this morning, which is also a supportive factor. But gains are being limited by beneficial weather in the Plains for the winter wheat crop. Recent rainfall should help HRW crop prospects. CBOT May is 7 cents higher at $6.50, KCBT May is 5 1/4 cents higher at $6.89 1/4 and MGE May is 6 cents higher at $8.11.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. Declining boxed beef prices and uncertainty over the strength in beef demand is weighing on the market. Cash markets have softened recently, but are still only down slightly from record high levels. However, further losses are being limited by improved packer margins that could encourage packers to increase slaughter. April is 58 cents lower at $125.45 and June is 60 cents lower at $123.00.
Lean hog futures lower at midday. The market is being pressured by the 46 cent decline in pork cutouts and concern that pork demand will remain sluggish until spring grilling season picks up. However, losses are being limited by steady to some higher cash market bids and on ideas that supplies of market ready hog supplies will be tightening. April is 93 cents lower at $86.90 and June is 83 cents lower at $94.50.