Corn futures are higher at midday. March futures have hit a new contract high and futures the spot contract is the highest level since July, 2008. Bullish momentum from the Supply/Demand report and bullish weekly export sales are supporting the market. Export sales last week were reported this morning at 47.7 million bushels. Sales were above trade expectations and old-crop sales were 51% above the previous 4-week average. Further gains are being limited by strength in the dollar. March is 5 1/2 cents higher at $7.03 1/2 and December is 2 1/4 cents higher at $6.16 3/4.
Soybean futures are mixed at midsession. Strength in the dollar and recent beneficial rainfall in Argentina are weighing on old-crop contracts. Crop prospects remain favorable in Brazil and have improved for Argentina. Spillover strength in corn and strong export demand for new-crop soybeans are supporting new-crop prices. March is 1 1/4 cents lower at $14.49 3/4 while November is 3/4 of a cent higher at $13.97 3/4.
Wheat futures are trading mostly lower at midday. Strength in the dollar and profit-taking are weigh on futures. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 18.7 million bushels were within trade expectations, but old-crop commitments were 40% below the previous 4-week average. Losses are being limited by concern about drought in China that is threatening wheat production. CBOT March is 3 cents lower at $8.83, KCBT March is 2 cents lower at $9.86 while MGE March is 1 3/4 cents higher at $10.28 3/4.
Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. The market is being supported by short-covering and cold weather in the Plains that may cut feedlot performance and reduce beef production. However, effects of the cold are expected to be limited as warmer weather is forecast for the weekend and next week. Cash trade has yet to develop, but traders are looking for steady bids compared to last week. February is 55 cents higher at $108.28 and April is $1.13 higher at $112.40.
Lean hog futures are strongly higher at midday. Strength in the cash market and the 45 cent jump in pork cutouts are supporting trade. Cold weather in the upper Midwest is disrupting hog marketings. Futures are building on contract highs and the June contract hit $102.15 this morning, which is a record high price for a lean hog contract. February is 83 cents higher at $86.00 and April is $2.45 higher at $93.70.
Cotton futures are sharply higher this morning. Speculative buying is pushing prices to new highs. A report that India is looking at lower-than-expected cotton yields was a fundamentally supportive factor. March is 696 points higher at 187.54 cents and December is 543 points higher at 129.98 cents.