Corn futures are trading slightly lower at midday. The market has been choppy this morning as traders look for direction. Strength in the stock market and optimism about a resolution to the euro-zone debt crisis has provided support at times. However, futures have drifted lower at midday. Lackluster export demand is a bearish factor. China has not been importing corn due to record corn production in 2011. CBOT March is 2 cents lower at $5.99 1/2 and May is 1 3/4 cents lower at $6.07 1/2.
Soybean futures are solidly higher at midsession. Fund buying is supporting futures trade amid further strength in the stock market today and optimism that European leaders will agree to measures to deal with the euro-zone debt crisis. Further gains are being limited by rising soybean production estimates for South America. January is 11 3/4 cents higher at $11.39 3/4 and March is 11 cents higher at $11.49 1/2.
Wheat futures are trading strongly higher on midday. Short-covering is supporting the market amid strength in the stock market. After declining for the past four weeks, futures are on track to make a solid recovery rally this week. Some fundamental support is coming from news that Ukraine may be forecast to import wheat in 2012/13 due to a smaller 2012 winter wheat crop. The Farm Ministry estimates wheat production at 8.5 million tonnes compared to 22.2 million for the 2011 crop. CBOT March is 11 cents higher at $6.25 1/4, KCBT March is 11 3/4 cents higher at $6.80 3/4 and MGE March is 10 1/2 cents higher at $8.42 3/4.
Cattle futures are trading narrowly mixed at midsession. The market is choppy as traders wait for direction in the cash market. Ideas that cash trade could be steady this week due to tight market ready cattle supplies have been countered by declining boxed beef prices and poor packer margins. Strength in the stock market and positive employment numbers are supportive factors for beef demand. December is 25 cents higher at $122.15 while February is 13 cents lower at $123.60.
Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. Futures premium to cash prices and the steady to lower tone in the cash market are pressuring trade. Losses are being limited by the $1.09 rebound in pork cutout values on Thursday. Follow-through strength in the stock market today is providing underlying support. December is 80 cents lower at $86.78 and February is 43 cents lower at $89.85.