Corn futures are called 2 to 3 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 2 1/4 to 3 1/4 cents higher. The market was firm overnight despite strength in the dollar and ideas that the Crop Progress report this afternoon will show strong planting progress. Some traders are looking for planting progress to be near 50% complete. The recent uptick in demand and commercial buying is expected to support futures trade.
Soybean futures are called 7 to 8 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 7 1/4 to 8 1/4 cents higher. Export demand has helped support soybean futures recently. China was in the market last week, buying for the 2010/11 marketing year. Futures rallied to three month highs last week. USDA is expected to issue the first soybean planting number this morning. Rain will slow progress this week, but early progress should have been strong.
Wheat futures are called 7 to 8 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CDT was 7 to 7 1/2 cents higher at the CBOT, 7 1/2 to 8 cents higher at the KCBT and 5 1/4 cents higher at the MGE. Short-covering helped push wheat futures to seven week highs last week. Further short-covering could be seen this morning despite bearish fundamentals and strength in the dollar. Gains will be limited by the generally sluggish export demand, favorable winter wheat conditions and good pace to spring wheat planting so far this spring.
Cattle futures are called higher. The smaller than expected March placements number in the Cattle on Feed report Friday and strength in beef prices will be supportive for futures. Placements were up only 3% compared to expectations for a nearly 7% increase. Choice boxed beef prices were up $1.61 on Friday. Favorable packer margins are expected to support the cash market this week.
Lean hog futures are called steady to lower. Follow-through selling from Friday and light weakness in pork cutouts will weigh on the market. But losses will be limited by ideas of steady cash markets and favorable packer margins. If pork prices can hold up this week, cash markets are expected to move higher given the tight supplies of market ready hogs.