Corn futures are trading higher at midsession. Weakness in the dollar index, strength in the cash market and continued talk about a smaller-than-expected corn crop in Argentina due to the hot and dry growing season are supporting the market. Weekend rainfall was disappointing in key corn growing regions in Argentina. March is 3 1/2 cents higher at $6.15 and May is 4 cents higher at $6.20 3/4.
Soybean futures are strongly higher at midday. Weather concerns for the soybean crop in South America and weakness in the dollar index are pushing prices higher this morning. Weekend rainfall was disappointing in key soybean growing regions in Argentina and forecasts call for stressful crop conditions in southern Brazil. Export demand has been strong recently, although China’s purchases are expected to slow over the next couple of weeks due to New Year’s celebrations. March is 26 1/2 cents higher at $12.13 1/2 and May is 26 cents higher at $12.21 1/2.
Wheat futures are higher at midsession. The market is being supported by weakness in the dollar index and spillover support from corn and soybeans. Short-covering is also a factor following the break in prices following the USDA reports earlier this month. However, gains are being limited by bearish global supplies and demand fundamentals. World wheat supplies remain abundant. CBOT March is 5 1/4 cents higher at $6.15 3/4, KCBT March is 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.71 3/4 and MGE March is 4 1/2 cents higher at $8.03 1/4.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midsession. The nearby contract is at a discount to the cash market last week, but there is concern that current prices are unsustainable given the poor processing margins for packers. The Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon was near trade expectations. Placements were 94% of year ago, but cattle on feed are still up 3% compared to last year. February is 5 cents lower at $124.50 and April is 28 cents higher at $128.00.
Lean hog futures are solidly higher at midday. The market is being supported by pork cutout values being up 87 cents on Friday and the steady to firm tone in the cash market. USDA reported pork in storage as of the end of December at 475.8 million pounds. Traders were expecting a small increase, but instead stocks fell 3.3 million pounds from the previous month. February is $1.13 higher at $86.45 and April is $1.43 higher at $88.48.