Corn futures are called 1 to 2 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 3/4 of a cent to 2 cents lower. Strong corn planting progress again this week and outside market pressure are expected to weigh lightly on the market. Crude oil and gold were lower overnight while the dollar was higher. Weekly export sales and shipments to be released this morning could provide some direction. Trade expectations for sales range from 28-51 million bushels. Shipments need to be around 42 million bushels or better to remain on pace with USDA’s export forecast.


 


Soybean futures are called steady to 1 cent higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 1/2 to 3/4 of a cent higher. Continued strong demand, even though it is for the 2010/11 marketing year, is supporting trade. China continues to make new purchases despite the record South American crop. Gains will be limited by outside markets as the dollar is higher and crude oil lower overnight. Weekly export sales are expected to be 11-24 million bushels while shipments are expected to be well above the pace of about 9 million bushels needed to reach USDA’s export forecast for the current marketing year.


 


Wheat futures are called 2 to 3 cents lower. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents lower at the CBOT and 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cents lower at the KCBT. Solid gains in the dollar overnight will be a bearish factor for wheat. Fundamentals remain largely bearish as winter wheat conditions are strong, spring wheat planting is going well and global wheat stocks remain large. Weekly export sales and shipments could influence trade. The marketing year for wheat ends May 31, and shipments are likely to fall short of the nearly 27 million bushel pace needed to reach USDA’s export forecast.


 


Cattle futures are called steady to higher. Follow-through strength from Wednesday is expected. Favorable packer margins and their need for cattle should support the cash market this week. Beef prices were mixed on Wednesday, but are holding at high levels at what is fairly good movement. 


 


Lean hog futures are called steady to higher. The futures market is expected to extend recent gains amid gains in pork cutouts on Wednesday of $1.37. USDA will release a new monthly Cold Storage report this afternoon and trade expectations are for pork supplies to be down 13% from last year. Gains in the futures market could be limited by technically overbought conditions that could lead to profit-taking weakness.