Corn futures are trading lower at midday. Profit-taking from recent gains is weighing on futures ahead of the three day ML King holiday weekend. Concern that China’s commodity imports may slow is also pressuring prices. China raised bank reserve requirements in an effort to curb inflation. March is 4 cents lower at $6.38 1/4 and May is 4 cents lower at $6.47 1/2.
Soybean futures are lower at midsession. The market is being pressured by profit-taking ahead of the extended weekend following the rally to 2 1/2 year highs earlier this week. NOPA crush for December was reported this morning at 145.5 million bushels, which was about 4 million below trade expectations. Forecasts for rain in Argentina that would benefit soybean crop conditions are also a bearish factor. March is 7 cents lower at $14.08 1/2 and May is 7 1/2 cents lower at $14.18.
Wheat futures are solidly lower at midday. Profit-taking from the mid-week gains, sluggish export demand and news that China was raising bank reserve requirements to slow inflation are bearish factors for wheat. Warmer temperatures in the Plains are easing concern about winterkill, although dry conditions remain a problem for much of the HRW crop. CBOT March is 17 cents lower at $7.66 1/2, KCBT March is 13 3/4 cents lower at $8.54 3/4 and MGE March is 6 3/4 cents lower at $8.87.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. Profit-taking ahead of the three day holiday weekend is weighing on the market despite firm beef prices and strength in the cash market. Beef prices on Thursday were the highest in eight months. Cash trade was reported at $108 on Thursday, but some traders were looking for $109 trade. February is 40 cents lower at $109.50 and April is 40 cents lower at $114.05.
Lean hog futures are lower at midday. The premium of futures to cash and concern that China’s move to tighten credit to slow inflation will hurt pork exports were bearish factors. Cash fundamentals remain bullish as pork cutouts were up $1.61 on Thursday and market ready hog supplies are tightening. February is $1.03 lower at $79.28 and April is $1.08 lower at $85.23.
Cotton futures are strongly lower at midsession. Follow-through selling from the losses on Thursday is weighing on futures following the mid-week gains. Bullish fundamentals are an underlying factor so far today. March is 237 points lower at 141.69 and May is 261 points lower at 136.85 cents.