Corn futures are trading lower at midday. Generally bearish fundamentals are weighing on the market although recent fund buying has improved technical charts. Large ending stock estimates and bird flu concerns remain bearish factors. Better than expected weekly export sales of 36.2 million bushels has failed to provide support. March is 2 cents lower at $2.05 1/4 and May is 1 1/2 lower at $2.14 3/4.



Soybean futures are lower at midsession. The market continues to consolidate the gains posted earlier in the week that were led by speculative buying. Weekly export sales reported this morning at 18.5 million bushels were at the low end of trade expectations. January is 4 1/4 cents lower at $5.88 1/4 and March is 5 cents lower at $5.98 1/2.



Wheat futures are trading mostly lower at midday. After posting strong gains on Wednesday, the market is consolidating today despite strong weekly export sales. Commitments of 26.2 million bushels were above pre-report trade expectations. Concern about winterkill in the southern Plains is helping limit losses at the KCBT. CBOT Mar is 1/4 of a cent lower at $3.23 1/2, KCBT Mar is 1/4 of a cent lower at $3.65 3/4 and MGE Mar is 1/2 of a cent higher at $3.75.



Cattle futures are lower at midday. Sharply higher cash markets this week and firm boxed beef prices lent initial support. However, profit-taking has pushed the market slightly lower following yesterday's push to new contract highs. February is 10 cents lower at $96.78 and April is 35 cnets lower at $94.30.



Lean hog futures are sharply lower at midsession. Weaker cash markets this morning and yesterday's $2.24 drop in pork cutout values are weighing on futures. Initial declines triggered technical selling that helped extend losses. February is 165 points lower at $64.53 and April is 160 points lower at $67.00.