Corn futures are called 3 to 4 cents higher. Overnight trade was 3 1/4 to 4 1/4 cents higher. The market is expected to bounce after some end of the month profit-taking pressure late on Wednesday. Underlying fundamentals remain positive with strong demand and need for a big jump in acreage this spring. However, the higher prices are expected to begin slowing export demand. Pre-release estimates for the weekly export sales report are 24-32 million bushels.



Soybean futures are called 3 to 4 cents higher. Overnight trade was 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 cents higher. The market tried to rally on Wednesday, but was pressured late in the session on end of the month selling. Buying interest should be triggered by strength in corn while soybean oil is supported by higher crude oil prices. Weekly export sales are expected to be 17-24 million bushels.



Wheat futures are called 1 to 2 cents higher. Overnight CBOT trade was 1 1/4 to 2 1/4 cents higher and the KCBT was 3/4 to 2 1/2 cents higher. While corn and soybeans were pressured by end of the month positioning yesterday, wheat was pulled higher on a round of short-covering. Recent improvement in export demand and cold weather in the Plains and Midwest will be supportive again today. Weekly export sales are expected to be improved with trade estimates ranging from 17-24 million bushels.



Cattle futures are called steady to higher. Cash trade remains on hold although light trade has developed in Nebraska at steady to firm levels. Ideas that boxed beef prices are bottoming and reports of improved packer interest should help give the front end some support. Also, forecasts are calling for cold weather and snow through the weekend.



Lean hog futures are called steady to mixed. Cash markets are expected to be mostly steady as packers have had to hold up bids this week due to lighter marketings. However, buying interest may be limited by poor margins following the 72 cent drop in cutouts on Wednesday.