Corn futures are trading fractionally lower at midday. Forecasts for favorable planting weather over the Corn Belt the next week to ten days are weighing on prices. USDA pegged planting progress at 3% as of Sunday, down 1% from the five-year average. Strength in the dollar and weakness in crude oil are also bearish factors. May is 1/2 of a cent lower at $3.47 3/4 and July is 3/4 of a cent lower at $3.58 3/4.
Soybean futures are higher at midsession. After a weak open, prices have turned higher on strength in the cash markets. Old-crop months continue to gain on new-crop as old-crop supply/demand fundamentals are supportive. Gains in new crop are being limited by the large soybean crops in South America and the outlook for increased U.S. acreage. May is 8 1/2 cents higher at $9.68 1/2 and July is 7 1/2 cents higher at $9.76.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. Short-covering is supporting the market despite relatively bearish fundamental news. Favorable weather for the winter wheat crop should benefit the crop. USDA pegged winter wheat conditions at 65% good to excellent, unchanged from last week but well above the 42% at this time last year. Gains are being limited by strength in the dollar. CBOT May is 5 3/4 cents higher at $4.73 1/2, KCBT May is 7 1/2 cents higher at $4.91 3/4 and MGE May is 4 1/2 cents higher at $5.06 3/4.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. Profit-taking is weighing on futures on concern that cash cattle trade and beef prices may be near a top. There was talk that cash cattle were trading lower compared to last week in the southern Plains this morning. On Monday, choice and select cutouts were up $1.04, hitting the highest level since July 2008. April is 88 cents lower at $98.13 and June is 55 cents lower at $93.50.
Lean hog futures are higher at midday. The market is being supported by news that U.S. poultry producers have agreed to stop using chorine in poultry for shipment to Russia. This should open the door to poultry exports again, which will ease supplies of a competing meat. Pork cutouts were up again on Monday and are at the highest level since August 2008. April is 13 cents higher at $76.50 and June is $1.35 higher at $85.33.