Corn futures are trading slightly higher at midday. Forecasts for warmer and drier weather in South America as the corn crop heads into pollination are boosting the corn market. The stock market has pulled back from overnight gains and the dollar is considerably stronger, which is pressuring corn prices. Traders were cautiously optimistic about news coming out of Europe, but that sentiment seems to have changed. March is 3/4 of a cent higher at $5.94 3/4 and May is 3/4 of a cent higher at $6.03 1/4.
Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. Prices have bounced off of Monday’s dip to a new low in the January contract. Adding to earlier strength were gains in the stock market and weakness in the dollar index, but those markets have changed directions, which is pressuring soybeans. Traders are watching reports out of South America, but so far the news is confusing, with some people talking about record crops while others say yields are being hurt by dry weather. Actual production prospects should become clearer in the next several weeks. January is 6 3/4 cents higher at $11.18 3/4 and March is 7 cents higher at $11.29 1/4.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. Wheat is holding its ground fairly well despite the turn-around in the dollar index this morning and the pullback in the stock market. Wheat has been very weak the last few months, and there has been talk of the market putting in a bottom. Some of what we’re seeing could be short covering in a market that many consider to be oversold. Market fundamentals remain generally bearish. CBOT March is 8 1/2 cents higher at $6.02 3/4, KCBT March is 8 3/4 cents higher at $6.61 while MGE March is 7 1/2 cents higher at $8.31.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midsession. Futures turned lower as outside market support has wavered this morning. Adding support is the rebound in the choice cutout by more than $4 on Monday. No activity is expected in the cash market until Wednesday at the earliest. Cattle futures rebounded significantly off the lows on Monday and we are seeing some follow-through buying this morning. December is 48 cents lower at $117.98 while February is 23 cents higher at $118.88.
Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. Futures are tumbling in conjunction with falling cash market prices and lower cutouts, which continue to be the main driver for futures contracts. In addition, the chart patterns are decidedly negative. Hog supplies are high, with slaughter running ahead of year-ago levels. Typically hog prices hold steady to lower in late December and then improve after the beginning of the year. This year the February contract is essentially even with current cash prices, indicating a negative bias by traders. At least for the near term, hog futures will have a hard time getting much upward momentum. December is 28 cents lower at $85.95 and February is 55 cents lower at $86.05.