Corn futures are trading higher at midday. The confirmation of an export sale of corn to China and continued weather threats for planting are supporting the market. Weekly export sales report this morning at 28.6 million bushels of old-crop and 2.1 million bushels of new-crop were within trade expectations. Outside markets are mixed as the lower dollar index is supportive, but weakness in crude oil is bearish. July corn is 13 3/4 cents higher at $7.56 and December is 10 1/2 cents higher at $6.81 1/4.
Soybean futures are solidly higher at midsession. The market is being supported by more rain in the Midwest that is raising concern about delayed soybean planting. Trade estimates are for soybean acreage to be just slightly higher than USDA’s planting intentions number despite a decline in corn acreage from intentions. Weekly export sales reported this morning at 6.2 million bushels were within trade expectations. The Census Bureau crush report for April at 128.0 million bushels of soybeans fell below trade expectations of 129.3 million bushels. July is 16 3/4 cents higher at $13.93 3/4 and November is 17 1/4 cents higher at $13.78 1/4.
Wheat futures are sharply higher at midday. Adverse weather in the U.S. and European Union is supporting the market. The MGE is leading the gains amid spring wheat planting delays. Market expectations are for acreage to decline to 13.8 million acres compared to planting intentions of 14.4 million. Poor hard red winter wheat conditions in the U.S. and drought in northern Europe are expected to trim global wheat production. Weakness in the dollar is also a supportive factor this morning. CBOT July is 27 1/2 cents higher at $8.24, KCBT July is 26 cents higher at $9.54 3/4 and MGE July is 40 cents higher at $10.60.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. Disappointing economic data is weighing lightly on the market in quiet trade ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The government reported a surprise jump in first-time unemployment claims, which raised concern about demand. However, boxed beef prices have turned higher and cash markets are expected to stabilize next week due to favorable packer margins. June is 20 cents lower at $104.35 and August is 18 cents lower at $105.05.
Lean hog futures are mixed at midday. The market is choppy as traders are already gearing up for the extended Memorial Day weekend. Packer margins are poor and cash hog prices are lower again today. However, pork cutouts were up 87 cents on Wednesday and there is some talk that cash markets will stabilize next week. June is 5 cents lower at $88.25 while July is 40 cents higher at $87.80.
Cotton futures are trading strongly lower at midsession. Profit-taking and net negative weekly export sales of old-crop cotton this week are weighing heavily on the market. July is 463 points lower at 151.40 cents and December is 342 points lower at 127.93 cents.