Corn futures are trading higher at midsession. The unwinding of corn/wheat spreads and a report from the U.S. Grains Council that indicates China may have to import up to 9 million tonnes of corn in 2011 are supporting the market. But gains are being limited by weakness in soybeans and losses in crude oil futures. March is 2 1/ 4 cents higher at $6.64 3/4 and December is 3 cents higher at $5.91 1/2.
Soybean futures are lower at midday. Profit-taking and prospects for a big soybean harvest in South America are weighing on futures. Crop weather has been generally favorable in Brazil and recent rainfall has improved crop prospects in Argentina. March is 6 cents lower at $14.29 1/2 and November is 4 cents lower at $13.61 1/2.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midsession. Profit-taking and the unwinding of corn/wheat spreads are weighing on futures. Strength in the dollar is bearish for exports and last week’s export sales report was disappointing. The political unrest in Egypt is a concern as well because they are the world’s largest wheat importer. Losses are being limited by the tight global supply of high quality wheat and increased winterkill concerns. CBOT March is 7 1/4 cents lower at $8.51 3/4, KCBT March is 6 cents lower at $9.43 and MGE March is 10 1/2 cents lower at $9.88.
Cattle futures are trading slightly lower at midsession. Future’s premium to cash and light volume has weighed lightly on the market. Limited cash trade developed this week at mostly $106, up $1-$2 from last week. Cold and wintery weather this week has hampered feedlot performance, but it has also slowed beef demand in the central and eastern U.S. February is 18 cents lower at $108.03 and April is 25 cents lower at $112.95.
Lean hog futures are mixed at midday. The market is choppy so far this morning. Snow and cold weather in the Midwest has backed up hog marketings, but that is expected to be solved by increased Saturday slaughter plans. Firm pork cutouts and higher cash bids are supporting the nearby February contract. February is 85 cents higher at $84.20 while April is 10 cents lower at $91.45.
Cotton futures are sharply lower at midsession. Profit-taking and the new restrictions on cotton speculative positions are weighing on futures. March is 400 points lower at 167.86 cents and December is 226 points lower at 113.80 cents.