Corn futures are called 3 cents higher. Overnight trade was 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cents higher. Late strength in the stock market yesterday and firm Dow Jones futures overnight coupled with higher crude oil prices overnight will be supportive. Cool and wet weather in the Corn Belt will slow spring fieldwork, possibly leading to planting delays. The weekly export sales report to be released this morning is expected to be in the 24-35 million bushel range.



Soybean futures are called 8 to 9 cents higher. Overnight trade was 7 3/4 to 8 3/4 cents higher. Outside market strength is expected to support the soybean market this morning following strength in the stock market yesterday and firm crude oil futures overnight. Weekly export sales and the February Census Crush report could influence trade. Trade expectations for export sales are in the 9-20 million bushel range. The average pre-report estimate for February crush is only 134.5 million bushels, down about 10 million from January.



Wheat futures are called 4 to 5 cents higher. Overnight CBOT trade was 5 to 5 1/2 cents higher and the KCBT was 4 to 5 cents higher. Outside market strength and spillover support from corn and soybeans are expected to help wheat recover some of yesterday's losses. Trade estimates for the weekly export sales report range from 7-17 million bushels. Shipments will be watched closely this late in the marketing year, with over 18 million bushels needed to stay on pace to reach USDA's export estimate. Gains will be limited by forecasts for good precipitation total in the southern Plains over the next several days.



Cattle futures are called steady to mixed as traders wait for the cash market to develop. Packers were pulling higher bids off the shelf yesterday as margins remain very poor. However, tightening cattle supplies will give feedlots some bargaining power. Expected strength in the stock market and corn futures this morning should provide some support.



Lean hog futures are called steady to lower. The sharp drop in pork cutout values of $2.45 is expected to pressure the futures market. Cash trade has stabilized this week, but packer margins took a hit yesterday with firm cash prices and the drop in pork. Losses may be limited by positioning ahead of the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report due out Friday afternoon.