Corn futures are slightly higher at midday. Short-covering and fund buying are providing light support. Corn planting progress has been strong, but weekend rainfall and forecasts for rain this week will slow fieldwork. Strength in the dollar and weakness in crude oil are helping to limit gains. May is 2 cents higher at $3.55 and July is 1 cent higher at $3.62.
Soybean futures are trading lower at midsession. The market opened higher on technical buying. But futures have turned lower with strength in the dollar pressuring prices. The strong early pace of corn planting should benefit early soybean planting progress, although wet weather this week will limit progress. USDA’s Crop Progress report to be released this afternoon is expected to show soybean planting to be about 5%. May is 1 3/4 cents lower at $9.98 1/4 and July is 2 1/4 cents lower at $10.07 3/4.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. Short-covering is lightly supporting the market. But gains are being limited by strength in the dollar and a disappointing weekly export inspections report. USDA reported shipments last week of only 9.8 million bushels compared to 17.7 million last week and trade expectations ranging from 15-18 million bushels. CBOT May is 5 1/4 cents lower at $4.88, KCBT May is 1 3/4 cents lower at $5.04 and MGE May is 1 3/4 cents lower at $5.25.
Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. The Cattle on Feed report was supportive as March placements were pegged at 3% above year ago versus trade expectations of it to be up 7%. Strength in beef prices and ideas of firm cash trade is supportive. The April contract, which expires on Friday, is 15 cents higher at $99.38 and June is 45 cents higher at $95.28.
Lean hog futures are lower at midday. Follow-through selling from the losses on Friday and lower pork cutout values are weighing on futures. However, losses are being limited by steady to $1 higher cash trade. In addition, the monthly Cold Storage report last week showed total pork stocks at a three-year low. June is 68 cents lower at $84.50 and July is 88 cents lower at $85.08.