Corn futures are trading steady at 10 to 14 cents higher at midday. Several key factors are attributing to higher corn prices. Forecasts for dry weather across the U.S. Corn Belt are supporting deferred contracts. News that China will increase imports of corn and soybeans for the 2012/13 crop year to cover demand needs. Also, commodity investment buying is heating up as China cut interest rates in an effort to boost their economy.

Soybean futures are trading 28 to 32 cents higher at midday. Great day in the soybean market. Prices are higher for the second consecutive day. Soybean futures are soaring as China reports plans to increase soybean imports for 2012/13 to 57.3 million tonnes, up from 55 million. Renewed investor confidence in the global economy has spurred a round of speculative buying across commodities, pushing prices higher. Weekly exports sales are expected to be bullish for prices.

Wheat futures are trading 7 to 13 cents higher at midday. Market prices are gaining strength as the dollar index continues to tumble and investment buying across commodities picks up due to growing optimism in the global economy. China has cut interest rates for the first time in four years in an effort to jumpstart their economy which has incited investors to take on more risky assets. Wheat prices at CBOT and MGE trading firm while KCBT prices are higher but still remain vulnerable to bearish fundamentals.

Cattle futures are trading 20 to 40 cents higher at midday. Cattle prices are trading higher on improvement in wholesale beef prices and lower dollar index. USDA reported select up 73 cents at $197.13, while choice was down slightly. Prices are seeing support from investor driven buying across commodities after China announced interest rate cuts to improve economic conditions.

Lean hog futures are trading mixed to mostly higher at midday. Prices are being supported solid pork cutout values and higher cash prices due to tightening supplies. Wednesday’s pork cutout value was up $1.75 on Wednesday. Weakness in the dollar and improvement in outside market conditions are supporting the market as well.