Corn futures are called 8 to 9 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 8 1/2 to 9 cents higher. Outside markets are providing support. The dollar index is lower following the Federal Reserve’s announcement yesterday that interest rates will remain low through 2014. Strength in crude oil overnight is also supportive. The market has traded higher for five straight sessions. Continued talk of a smaller corn crop in Argentina is leading to optimism for improved export demand for U.S. corn.
Soybean futures are called 10 to 11 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 10 1/4 to 11 cents higher. The market is being supported by outside markets and spillover strength in corn. The dollar index is lower overnight following the Federal Reserve’s meeting yesterday when it was announced that interest rates would remain lower into 2014. Weekly export sales and shipments will be reported by USDA this morning. China demand is expected to help numbers be strong although numbers will decline next week as China is celebrating its New Year’s holiday.
Wheat futures are called 9 to 12 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 11 1/4 to 12 cents higher at the CBOT, 9 1/4 to 10 1/4 cents higher at the KCBT and 7 1/4 cents higher at the MGE. Weakness in the dollar index and spillover strength from corn are supporting wheat futures again this morning. Weekly export sales to be reported this morning are expected to be strong. Wheat sales only need to be 10 million bushels or better to stay on pace to reach USDA’s export forecast, but trade expectations range from 18-26 million bushels.
Cattle futures are called steady to mixed. Cash trade has not developed yet this week, so futures could be choppy until then. Boxed beef prices have moved higher this week, but packer processing margins remain well in the red. However, cash trade is expected to be steady to firm as market ready cattle supplies remain tight. There may also be some positioning ahead of the Cattle Inventory report due out Friday afternoon.
Lean hog futures are called steady to lower. Pork cutouts were down 56 cents on Wednesday and some cash markets turned lower. Packer margins are poor and there could be an effort to push cash bids lower to improve margins. Large slaughter numbers have put and ample pork supplies continue to weigh in the cutout market.
Cotton futures are trading slightly higher this morning. Short-covering from the losses on Wednesday are supporting prices. Weakness in the dollar is also a supportive factor for commodity markets. At 6:45 am CT, March was 28 points higher and July was 6 points higher.