Corn futures are trading higher at midday. Firm cash markets, short-covering and spillover support from soybeans are pushing corn prices higher. However, further gains are being limited by the strong pace of corn planting so far this spring. May is 5 1/2 cents higher at $3.61 and July is 5 3/4 cents higher at $3.71.  


Soybean futures are solidly higher at midsession. May futures have hit a three-month high amid continued export demand from China, slow farmer selling and firm cash markets. USDA reported the sales of 174,000 tonnes of soybean to China, although delivery will be in the 2010/11 marketing year. May is 13 cents higher at $9.97 and July is 13 3/4 cents higher at $10.07 3/4.  


Wheat futures are trading slightly lower at midday. Fundamentals remain bearish, but strength in corn and soybeans are helping to limit losses. Winter wheat conditions are well above average and forecasts do not call for any threat of damaging cold. Spring wheat planting is going well with USDA reporting 20% of the crop planted as of Sunday, up 6% from the five-year average. CBOT May is 1/2 cent lower at $4.85 1/2, KCBT May is 3 cents lower at $4.98 3/4 and MGE May is 4 cents lower at $5.15 1/4.  


Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. June has rallied to a two-week high while August made a new contract high. Higher beef prices on Tuesday and expectations for firm cash trade this week are supporting the futures market. However, further gains are being limited by concern that Friday’s Cattle on Feed report could show a big increase in placements last month versus year-ago. April is 58 cents higher at $99.25 and June is 75 cents higher at $95.35.


Lean hog futures are strongly higher at midday. Some contracts have posted new contract highs as strength in pork cutout values and the firm tone in the cash market is providing support. Packer margins are favorable and the availability of market ready hogs is being limited by producers tending to spring fieldwork. June is $1.50 higher at $87.00 and July is $1.48 higher at $87.30.