Corn futures are trading slightly lower at midday. The market turned negative midmorning following revised estimates from Brazil pegging the corn crop higher at 61.7 million tonnes. Poor weekly export sales of 30.3 million bushels are weighing on prices as well. Alternatively, Argentina’s corn crop was revised down today to 20.8 million tonnes from 21.3 million by the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. The market has been supported by stronger crude oil and weakness in the value of the dollar. Optimism over the Greek debt restructuring is currently good. Concern about unrest in the Middle East is supporting crude oil. Otherwise traders are positioning ahead of the USDA reports due out on Friday morning. Pre-report trade surveys peg corn ending stocks at 784 million bushels, down from the February estimate of 801 million bushels. May is 4 cents lower at $6.34 3/4 and December is 1 cent lower at $5.57.
Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. Strong weekly export sales of 39.5 million bushels were above trade estimates and are pushing futures higher. Outside markets and bullish momentum are supporting the market as well despite some concern that the soybean market is technically overbought. The euro-zone debt crisis yoyo continues and most recent news is for some hope for an agreement to deal with Greek debt. Concern about unrest in the Middle East is supporting crude oil. Also, soybean production estimates for South America continue to decline. Average of pre-report trade estimates for Friday’s USDA report look for a cut to the soybean ending stocks from 275 million bushels to 257 million. May is 4 3/4 cents higher at $13.31 1/2 and November is 1 1/2 cents higher at $12.93.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midday. Spillover pressure from the downturn in corn is pressuring the wheat market. Meanwhile, the weakness in the dollar index and optimism over the Greek debt restructuring are supportive. Gains remain limited by bearish global supply/demand fundamentals. Trade is also slowed due to positioning ahead of the USDA Supply/Demand report due out on Friday morning. The trade is looking for USDA to cut its U.S. wheat ending stocks from 845 million bushels to 838 million. CBOT May is 1/4 of a cent lower at $6.39, KCBT May is 1 cent lower at $6.82 3/4 and MGE May is 1/4 of a cent lower at $8.08 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. Prices are bouncing back after the heavy selling of the last 4 sessions pushed futures about $5 lower. Buyers taking advantage of the lower prices are pushing futures higher despite the bearish tone of the cash market. Light cash trade developed yesterday at $126, steady to $1 lower than previously this week and down around $3 from last week. Boxed beef prices have been mixed this week. Adding support is weakness in the value of the dollar and optimism about the Greek debt restructuring. April is 48 cents higher at $126.05 and June is 83 cents higher at $124.30.
Lean hog futures are trading higher at midday. Follow-through buying and spillover strength from the gain in the cash market yesterday and weakness in the dollar index have sent futures prices solidly higher. Pork cutouts were up 57 cents on Wednesday and hogs were up $2 in Iowa/southern Minnesota, which are supporting futures. Improvement in the Greek debt situation and the pressure on the value of the dollar are favorable for the pork export outlook. April is 35 cents higher at $87.70 and June is 50 cents higher at $96.05.