Corn futures are called 4 to 5 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 4 1/4 to 5 cents higher. The market was trading higher overnight on commercial buying and weakness in the dollar index. Talk that China has been in the market for U.S. corn continues to support the market while old-crop corn supplies remain tight.
Soybean futures are called 11 to 12 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 11 1/4 to 12 1/2 cents higher. The nearby May contract pushed to a new high for the move overnight. Strong export demand, tight old-crop supplies and weakness in the dollar index are supportive factors. Weekly export sales and shipments to be reported this morning are expected to be bullish.
Wheat futures are called 3 to 6 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cents higher at the CBOT, 4 to 4 1/4 cents higher at the KCBT and 5 3/4 cents higher at the MGE. Weakness in the dollar index and spillover support from corn and soybeans are helping wheat futures rally. Global supply/demand fundamentals remain bearish, but the International Grains Council is projecting 2012/13 wheat production to be down 15 million metric tons compared to this year. Gains in futures will be limited by warm weather that is helping winter wheat growth and could help some early spring wheat planting in the northern Plains.
Cattle futures are called steady to mixed as traders wait for further direction from the cash market. Boxed beef prices were down strongly again on Wednesday and packer margins are still well in the red. But packers are in need of supplies and cash markets are expected to be near steady this week compared with last week.
Lean hog futures are called steady to mixed. Pork cutouts values were down 60 cents on Wednesday and packer margins remain poor. However, cash markets turned higher as packers were gearing up for a big Saturday slaughter. The typical seasonal improvement in pork prices has been disappointing.
Cotton futures are mixed this morning as traders wait for direction from the weekly export sales report. At 6:35 am CT, May futures were up 4 points while December was 2 points lower.