Corn futures are called 1 to 2 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 1 to 1 3/4 cents higher. The market was supported overnight by short-covering ahead of the weekend following the big losses on Thursday. Outside markets are mostly supportive as the dollar index was lower again last night. Planting progress is expected to pick up in the western Corn Belt, but wet conditions in the eastern Midwest are expected to continue limiting fieldwork there.
Soybean futures are called 5 to 7 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 5 to 7 1/4 cents higher. Support is expected to come from pre-weekend short-covering following the large losses posted on Thursday. Fund selling and long liquidation weighed on prices, but further weakness in the dollar index overnight is supportive for commodity markets. Export demand has slowed as buying has shifted to the newly harvest South American crop. However, sales and shipments remain on pace to reach USDA’s export forecast.
Wheat futures are called mixed on the open. Overnight trade at 6:45 am CT was 1 to 3 1/2 cents higher at the CBOT, 1/4 of a cent lower to 1 1/2 higher at the KCBt and 2 3/4 cents lower at the MGE. After the big losses on Thursday, light support is coming from short-covering and weakness in the dollar index. However, the market will struggle to move higher due to some rainfall in the Plains that will benefit some of the struggling HRW wheat crop. Cooler temperatures and rainfall in key wheat areas in Germany, France and England are also bearish factors.
Cattle futures are called steady to mixed. Cash trade was completed earlier in the week. Concern about beef demand remains a bearish concern as boxed beef prices were lower on Thursday. High gas prices could slow the seasonal increase in demand, but forecasts for improved weather the first half of May should encourage retail sales as grilling season gets underway. However, choppy trade in light volume is expected in the futures market today.
Lean hog futures are called steady to mixed. Pork cutouts were down sharply on Wednesday and fell another 68 cents on Thursday. The futures market has been pressured by concern about sluggish pork demand. But futures have become technically oversold and are due for some short-covering. In addition, tightening supplies of market ready hogs should help slow the recent weakness in the cash market.