Corn futures are called 2 to 3 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 2 to 2 1/2 cents lower. Outside market pressure and technical selling are weighing on the market. Disappointing Chinese manufacturing data is weighing on stock markets and is supporting the dollar index. The outlook for the 2012 crop is currently favorable. Increased acreage is expected and warm weather is allowing for earlier than normal fieldwork and some early planting progress is likely.
Soybean futures are called 5 to 6 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 5 1/2 to 6 1/4 cents lower. Strength in the dollar, weakness in Dow Jones futures and short-term bearish momentum is weighing on the market. Disappointing manufacturing data in China is weighing on equity markets. However, fundamentals for soybeans are generally bullish. Export demand remains strong and South American soybean crop production estimates have been declining. USDA’s weekly export sales report is expected to show strong sales and shipments data.
Wheat futures are called 3 to 5 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 3 to 4 cents lower at the CBOT, 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cents lower at the KCBT and 2 3/4 cents lower at the MGE. Technical selling and strength in the dollar index are expected to weigh on the market. Global supply/demand fundamentals remain bearish as world wheat supplies are record large. Warm weather in the Plains and Midwest and some beneficial rainfall is helping winter wheat growth. Forecasts do not show any threatening cold temperatures, but the crop will be vulnerable to a late freeze.
Cattle futures are called steady to mixed. Cash trade developed this week at mostly $126 in the South (steady with last week), and $202-$204 dressed in the North (steady to up $2). However, the $2.12 drop in choice cutouts and poor packer margins will raise concern about next week’s trade. Outside markets could also pressure prices as the stock market is expected to open lower.
Lean hog futures are called steady to lower. The tone in the cash market is steady to lower and pork cutouts were 72 cents lower on Wednesday. Packers demand remains strong and slaughter is big despite poor margins and the weak tone in pork prices. Average slaughter weights are rising, which will further add to pork stocks.
Cotton futures are trading slightly higher this morning. Traders are waiting for the USDA weekly export sales report, which is expected to show strong export demand. At 6:45 am CT May futures were 23 points higher and December was 13 points higher.