Corn futures are trading slightly lower at midsession. The sharp rally in the dollar and light follow-through selling from the sharp losses on Thursday are weighing on the market. The dollar is being supported by news that France’s credit rating may be downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. But losses are being limited by short-covering ahead of the extended three-day MLK Jr. holiday weekend and concern about hot and dry weather returning to South America. March is 1 1/4 cents lower at $6.10 1/4 and May is 3/4 of a cent lower at $6.17 1/2.
Soybean futures are narrowly mixed at midday. The market has been choppy in consolidation trade. Spillover selling following the USDA reports on Thursday and the sharp rally in the dollar index are bearish factors. However, short-covering ahead of the three-day MLK Jr. holiday weekend and concern about crop production potential in South America despite some recent rainfall is helping to limit losses. March is 1 cent lower at $11.81 1/2 and May is 2 1/4 cents lower at $11.90 1/4.
Wheat futures are trading slightly higher at midsession. Short-covering and light technical buying is supporting the market following losses earlier this week. Traders are gearing up for the three-day MLK Jr. holiday weekend. However, gains are being limited by the sharp rally in the dollar index, which is another bearish factor for wheat exports. CBOT March is 1 1/2 cents higher at $6.06 1/2, KCBT March is 1/4 of a cent higher at $6.73 1/4 and MGE March is 3 3/4 cents higher at $8.11 1/4.
Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. Ideas of steady cash trade this week are supporting the futures market. Supplies of marketing ready cattle remain tight and packers are short-bought. Steady bids are expected despite poor packer processing margins. Sluggish beef demand pushed boxed beef prices lower again on Thursday. February is $1.20 higher at $122.45 and April is 90 cents higher at $126.15.
Lean hog futures are higher at midday. The firm tone in the cash market and the 99 cent jump in pork cutout values are supporting futures. Short-covering is pushing prices higher following the weakness in the market over the past week. Packer margins are poor, but hog supplies are expected to tighten and pork prices have shown some life recently. February is $1 higher at $84.95 and April is 78 cents higher at $87.35.