Corn futures are called 3 to 4 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 3 1/4 to 4 cents lower. Light profit-taking is expected this morning after hitting a new contract high in the March contract on Wednesday. Otherwise, choppy trade is expected in light volume ahead of the extended New Year holiday weekend.


 


Soybean futures are called 1 to 2 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 1 to 2 cents higher. The market is expected to rebound from the profit-taking weakness on Wednesday. The weekly export sales report to be released this morning is expected to show continued strong export demand. Weakness in the dollar overnight will also provide light support.


 


Wheat futures are called 8 to 10 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 9 1/4 to 10 1/4 cents lower at the CBOT, 9 3/4 to 10 cents lower at the KCBT and 8 cents lower at the MGE. Profit-taking is expected to weigh on futures following the CBOT March wheat contract closing at the highest level for a front-month since August 2008. There is some concern about wheat production around the globe. There have been some daily reports of export demand, but USDA’s weekly export sales report is expected to show sluggish export shipments.


 


Cattle futures are called higher on the open. Cash trade developed this week at $106-$107 live, up $3-$4 from last week and $167-$168 dressed, up $5-$7 from the previous week. Boxed beef prices were higher with choice cutouts up $1.55. The strong cash fundamentals are expected to support prices, but profit-taking ahead of the New Year could limit gains.


 


Lean hog futures are called higher this morning. Cash trade shot up $2.20 on Wednesday as short-bought packers needed to raise bids to fill slaughter needs. Weakness in the dollar is supportive as it should benefit export demand.


 


Cotton futures are trading mixed this morning. The front-end March contract is lower on profit-taking ahead of the end of year. The Weekly Export Sales report due out this morning could provide some direction. At 6:30 am CT, March futures were 84 points lower at 139.59 cents.