Corn futures are trading 1 to 4 cents higher at midday. Corn futures are resisting midday pressure from bearish export sales and shipment data for the 2011/12 marketing year. Midday prices are being supported by as lower production and yield estimates cross newswires. Informa economics, a private analytics firm, lowered corn yield to 119.8 bushels per acre and production output to 10.310 billion bushels per acre.

In mid morning trading, soybean futures have reversed early losses and had pulled back to modest gains. November beans were up 2 cents at $17.49 and January beans were up 2 cents at $17.47 3/4. The markets are anticipating the new USDA crop reports scheduled for release next Wednesday morning. A prominent private firm out of Memphis issued its much-anticipated monthly forecasts midmorning. The soybean forecast was bullish against expectations at a reported 2.639 billion bushels. That compares to just released average trade forecasts at 2.657 billion in the Reuters poll. It is also much less (100 million bushels) than the other widely watched forecast from FC Stone this week at 2.739 billion.

In mid morning trading, wheat futures are trading sharply higher. The active December futures contract was up 19 1/4 cents at $9.11. The contract has vaulted back over the $9 benchmark and was challenging its high from a week ago. Traders are again taking note of the wheat production problems out of the Black Sea region. It is expected that eventually, Russia and the Ukraine will have to halt wheat exports and turn future 2012/13 business over to other countries, including the US. Although USDA does not update its US wheat production forecast in next week’s report, it will look at world supply/demand. The trade is forecasting a decline in world 2012/13 carryout to 174.5 mmt from 197.3 mmt.

Live cattle futures are trading mixed but mostly lower at midday. The market is currently under pressure from cash market uncertainty. Cash trade remains undeveloped with significant gap between packer bids and asking prices. Unfavorable packer margins are discouraging packers from raising their bids even though they need to replenish stocks. Traders have noted that sharp losses in the hog market have the potential to “pull beef prices lower.”

Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. Poor fundamentals and follow through selling are weighing on hog futures. Slaughter numbers continue to rise pressuring cash prices continue. USDA reported the average hog price $2.12 lower at $66.46. The pork cutout value was reported as higher on Thursday but has had minimal effects on futures.