Corn futures are higher at midday. The market is being supported by strong weekly export sales and lowered private corn production estimates for Argentina and Brazil. Weekly export sales reported this morning were a marketing year high at 45.8 million bushels, beating pre-report trade estimates. March is 6 1/2 cents higher at $3.64 3/4 and May is 6 1/2 cents higher at $3.75 1/4.



Soybean futures are trading strongly higher at midsession. The market is being supported by some weather forecasts for Argentina turning drier. Support also came from lowered production estimates for South America. The U.S. ag attache lowered the soybean crop estimate for Argentina to 42.5 million tonnes compared to 49.5 million in January. The Brazilian government lowered their production estimate to 57.2 million tonnes from 57.8 million last month. March is 15 1/2 cents higher at $9.65 and May is 15 1/4 cents higher at $9.69.



Wheat futures are up strongly at midday. The market is rebounding from recent losses on spillover support from corn and soybeans and firm outside markets. Weekly export sales reported this morning were improved from recent weeks, but were still only 12 million bushels. Dry conditions remain a concern for the southern Plains, although forecasts are calling for some precipitation. CBOT March is 15 3/4 cents higher at $5.58, KCBT March is 19 1/4 cents higher at $5.89 1/4 and MGE March is 15 1/4 cents higher at $6.52 1/4.



Cattle futures are trading mixed at midsession. Short-covering and ideas of firm cash trade this week has helped front end contracts rebound from early session weakness. The weak economy and concern about beef demand continues to be an underlying weight on the market. Smaller showlists and positive packer margins are expected to help the cash market be steady to firm this week despite declining beef prices. April is 10 cents higher at $86.05 and June is 28 cents higher at $83.95.



Lean hog futures are lower at midday. Weak cash markets and technical selling are pressuring futures as the April through July contracts hit new lows. Concern about sluggish pork demand is a bearish factor. Although pork cutouts were slightly higher yesterday, packer margins remain negative. April is 80 cents lower at $60.08 and June is 95 cents lower at $72.40.