Corn futures are trading strongly lower at midsession. A rally in the dollar index and some forecasts calling for much needed rainfall in Argentina are weighing on the market. Argentina, the world’s second largest corn exporter, has been dealing with declining crop conditions and hot and dry weather. Forecasts today are calling for some rain showers in main corn producing areas next week. March is 11 3/4 cents lower at $6.46 3/4 and May is 12 1/2 cents lower at $6.54 1/4.
Soybean futures are solidly lower at midday. Speculative selling is being triggered by strength in the dollar index and forecasts calling for improved chances of rain for South American soybean crops next week. The dollar index is higher on continued concern about the European banking system. A higher dollar is bearish for U.S. commodity export demand. January is 16 1/4 cents lower at $12.05 1/4 and March is 16 1/4 cents lower at $12.13 3/4.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midsession. Profit-taking is weighing on futures as the dollar index continues to rally amid renewed concerns about the euro debt crisis. Sluggish export demand and bearish global supply/demand fundamentals remain underlying bearish factors. Hard red winter wheat conditions ratings improved in Kansas to 53% good to excellent from 47% at the end of November, although there remains concern about drought in the southern Plains. CBOT March is 15 1/2 cents lower at $6.34 1/2, KCBT March is 16 1/4 cents lower at $6.97 3/4 and MGE March is 13 1/2 cents lower at $8.25 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading higher midsession. The market was choppy much of the morning as traders wait for the cash market to develop. But futures turned higher on ideas that short-bought packers will need to at least hold bids steady this week is providing light support for nearby contracts. February is 70 cents higher at $122.33 and April is 75 cents higher at $126.25.
Lean hog futures are trading mixed at midday. The market is mostly lower on pressure from the 90 cent decline in pork cutouts and outside markets. Strength in the dollar could limit pork export demand, which were a large factor for high prices in 2011. Average Iowa slaughter weights last week were up 2.2 pounds from the previous week and 3.2 pounds above year ago. February is 33 cents lower at $84.85 while April is 15 cents higher at $87.90.