Corn futures are called 1 to 2 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cents higher. Light support is being generated by weakness in the dollar index. However, there is little fresh news available. 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. Trade could be choppy as traders watch outside markets for some direction.
Soybean futures are called 7 to 8 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 7 1/4 to 8 cents higher. 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. Weakness in the dollar index overnight will also be supportive.
Wheat futures are called 4 to 8 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 4 1/4 to 5 3/4 cents higher at the CBOT, 3 3/4 to 4 cents higher at the KCBT and 7 1/4 to 8 1/4 cents higher at the MGE. Overnight trade opened lower, but turned higher overnight. Weakness in the dollar index and spillover support from corn are pushing wheat futures higher. The recent cold snap in parts of Europe and the former Soviet Union likely caused significant winterkill. However, temperatures have moderated for now so its bullish impact on the market is expected to be limited for now.
Cattle futures are called steady to lower on the open. Cash trade has not yet developed this week. Packers are short-bought, but processing margins are deep in the red. Choice cutouts were down $1.08 on Thursday. Packers have slowed slaughter and cattle supplies are manageable, which could help packers push the cash market lower this week. Losses could be limited by a snowstorm moving into some feedlot areas of the Plains.
Lean hog futures are called steady to mixed. Cash trade was firm on Thursday, but pork cutouts were down 32 cents. Seasonally tightening supplies have been supportive. However, poor packer margins have limited the cash market due to reduced slaughter schedules. Look for choppy trade ahead of the weekend.
Cotton futures are trading solidly higher this morning. The market is building on the fund buying rally from Thursday. Traders will be watching for the National Cotton Council annual survey of 2012 cotton acreage today. At 6:35 am CT, March cotton is 138 points higher and July is 94 points higher.