Corn futures are called 2 to 3 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents higher. Although the market is called higher on the open, choppy trade is likely today on the lack of fresh news. Profit-taking pressured the market on Thursday, but the market remains in an uptrend. Weekly export sales showed improved demand and feed needs have been increased by cold and snowy weather in the Plains and Midwest. However, the market remains vulnerable to further long liquidation and fund selling.
Soybean futures are called steady to 1 cent lower on the open. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 1/2 to 3/4 of a cent lower. As with corn, trade is expected to be choppy. Profit-taking and the recent uptick in the dollar index are bearish factors. Rainfall in Argentina has helped improve soybean crop prospects. Export demand remains strong, although China’s Lunar New Year holiday is likely slowing near-term demand. Tight ending stocks projections and the competition for acreage next spring remain underlying bullish factors.
Wheat futures are called 1 to 2 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 1 1/2 to 2 cents lower at the CBOT and 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cents lower the KCBT. The market pulled back on Thursday from the recent rally and there could be some light profit-taking today. Disappointing weekly export sales reported on Thursday is also a bearish factor. However, underlying support will continue to come from cold temperatures in the Plains that could cause some winterkill and the tight global supply of high-quality wheat.
Cattle futures are called steady to mixed in choppy trade. Light cash trade developed yesterday at mostly $106, up $1-$2 from last week and $170-$171 dressed, up $3-$4 higher a week ago. However, gains will be limited by lower boxed beef prices. Choice cutouts were down 64 cents and select cuts were 88 cents lower on Thursday.
Lean hog futures are called steady to higher. Pork cutouts were up 92 cents on Thursday and cash bids were firm. Packer margins are favorable and while pork prices are firming, market ready hog numbers are tightening. A large Saturday slaughter is planned to make up for slowdowns this week due to cold and wintery weather this week. This should help work through backed up supplies.
Cotton futures are trading strongly lower this morning. The cotton market remains very volatile and after trading limit up to limit down on Thursday, profit-taking is weighing on futures overnight. At 6:30 am CT, March cotton was 231 points lower at 169.55 cents and December was 130 points lower at 114.76 cents.