Corn futures are trading higher at midday. The market is being supported by spillover strength in wheat and further weakness in the dollar index today. Additionally, the EPA is expected to approve the use of the E15 ethanol blend in gasoline for older cars. Export sales of 43.2 million bushels were above pre-report trade expectations. March is 5 cents higher at $6.59 and May is 5 cents higher at $6.69.
Soybean futures are higher at midsession. Strong weekly export sales and outside market support are pushing soybean futures higher. Export sales last week of 33.6 million bushels were above trade expectations ranging from 20-26 million bushels. China was again the largest customer. On Thursday afternoon, a Chinese delegation visiting the U.S. inked deals to purchased over 3 million tonnes of U.S. soybean, likely in the 2011/12 marketing year. This was above the 2 million tonnes that traders were expecting. March is 3 cents higher at $14.17 1/4 and may is 4 1/4 cents higher at $14.28 3/4.
Wheat futures are solidly higher at midday. The bullish weekly export sales report and weakness in the dollar are supporting the market. Export sales last week of 42.2 million bushels were well above pre-report trade estimates ranging from 11-26 million bushels. Export demand for U.S. wheat has picked up as wheat importers have grown nervous about the tightening global supply of high-quality wheat because of the flooding in Australia. CBOT March is 19 1/4 cents higher at $8.22 3/4, KCBT March is 16 3/4 cents higher at $9.03 and MGE March is 19 3/4 cents higher at $9.39 3/4.
Cattle futures are trading mostly lower at midsession. The market was higher early, but front end futures have turned lower as traders are positioning ahead of the Cattle on Feed report due out after the close. Cash trade was down $1-$2 this week, but boxed beef prices remain strong. Choice cutouts were up 90 cents on Thursday hitting the highest level since July, 2008. February is 28 cents lower at $108.38 and April is 25 cents lower at $113.20.
Lean hog futures are higher at midday. Continued strength in the cash market is supporting futures future trade. Hog supplies are tightening and packers have been forced to raise bids to fill slaughter schedules. Strong export markets have helped push hog futures to new contract highs. Weakness in the dollar today is a bullish factor for the export market. February is 13 cents higher at $80.40 and April is 45 cents higher at $87.20.
Cotton futures are sharply higher at midsession, with front end contracts up the 400 points limit. Fund and speculative buying is pushing cotton futures near the highs following an overnight jump in China’s cotton futures. March cotton is 400 points higher at 156.94 cents and May is 400 points higher at 151.27 cents.