Corn futures are lower at midday, with the July contract hitting a new contract low. Drier weather in the Corn Belt and moderate temperatures should help crop conditions this week. Forecasts show generally favorable weather over the next couple of weeks, when much of the crop will be pollinating. July is 5 cents lower at $3.28 3/4 and December is 5 3/4 cents lower at $3.47.  


 


Soybean futures are slightly higher at midsession. Old-crop is being supported by tight supplies and firm cash markets. New-crop is higher as USDA confirmed the sale of 230,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for 2010/11 delivery. Wet weather lowered soybean condition ratings last week and delayed some of the last leg of planting. However, gains in futures are being limited by drier Midwest weather this week and moderate temperatures. July is 1/2 of a cent higher at $9.55 1/2 and November is 1/2 cent higher at $9.19.   


 


Wheat futures are solidly lower at midday. Drier weather in the Plains is helping push harvest progress and is limiting disease concerns. Protein levels so far in Kansas have been good. Spring wheat condition ratings remain very strong at 84% good to excellent. CBOT July is 5 cents lower at $4.44 1/2, KCBT July is 6 cents lower at $4.73 and MGE July is 6 1/4 cents lower at $4.95 1/4.  


 


Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. The sharp decline in the stock market has raised fears of a weak economy and thus weak beef demand. Cash trade is expected to be in the $91 range this week, which would be steady with last week. Smaller showlists and firm boxed beef prices yesterday should limit lower bids. August is 93 cents lower at $88.75 and October is $1.20 lower at $90.10.


 


Lean hog futures are strongly lower at midday. Lower pork prices, weakness in the cash market and the sharp decline in the stock market are weighing on futures. There is talk that several packing plants will be closed on Friday while most will be closed on Monday for the Fourth of July holiday. July is 90 cents lower at $78.63 and August is $1.13 lower at $81.05.