Corn futures are called steady to mixed. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 1/4 cent higher to 1/2 cent lower. Choppy trade is expected this morning. Corn planting progress has been strong this week and last week and now some rain is moving through the Midwest. So far the pace of planting and weather has been bearish. But recent spillover support from soybeans and strong weekly export sales report yesterday will help limit losses.


 


Soybean futures are called 1 cent higher on the open. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 1/2 to 1 1/4 cents higher. Export demand remains solid as China has been buying recently for the 2010/11 marketing year. But noncommercial buying has also been supportive as the recent strength in the stock market has triggered fund buying. But gains will be limited by continued ideas that China could cancel some 2009/10 sales due to South America’s record soybean harvest.


 


Wheat futures are called steady to 1 cent lower. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 1/4 to 3/4 of a cent lower at the CBOT, 1/4 to 1 cent lower at the KCBT and steady to 1/2 cent lower at the MGE. Some consolidation trade is expected this morning following the gains on Wednesday. Futures pushed above some technical resistance, but weak fundamentals remain. Export demand remains sluggish while winter wheat crop conditions remain strong. Also, spring wheat planting progress has been favorable.


 


Cattle futures are called steady to mixed. Some cash trade developed on Thursday at generally steady prices with last week. Boxed beef prices were mixed yesterday with choice cuts down 27 cents and select up 41 cents.  Futures actions will likely be limited by positioning ahead of the Cattle on Feed report. The COF report is expected to show a large increase in placements during March, but total numbers of cattle on feed down 3% from last year.


 


Lean hog futures are called higher on the open. Pork cutouts shot up $2.27 on Thursday, extending recent gains and hitting the highest level since August 2008. Packer margins are strong and this should help keep cash bids firm. The Cold Storage report was bullish as total pork in storage was less than expected.