Corn futures are trading higher at midday. The market continues to build on the bullish momentum from the USDA’s tight ending stocks outlook for the current market year. Also supportive is USDA’s announcement of an export sale to Mexico. But gains are being limited by weakness in soybean prices and further strength in the dollar this morning. March is 4 cents higher at $7.02 1/2 and December is 3 1/2 cents higher at $6.26 1/4.
Soybean futures are lower at midsession. Slowing export demand for old-crop soybeans and improved weather conditions for Argentina’s soybean crop are weighing on futures. On Thursday, USDA reported old-crop sales for last week were a marketing year low. New-crop contracts have been pulled lower, but losses are being limited by the competition for acreage this spring. March is 9 cents lower at $14.24 and November is 1/2 of a cent lower at $13.85.
Wheat futures are trading mostly higher at midday. Short-covering following the losses on Thursday and news that Egypt bought wheat and Tunisia is in the market for wheat are supporting the market. Warmer weather in the Plains is expected to melt snowcover and provide the crop with some much need moisture, although it could leave the crop vulnerable to a cold snap. CBOT March is 2 1/2 cents higher at $8.65 1/4, KCBT march is 3/4 of a cent higher at $9.68 3/4 while MGE March is 1 1/4 cents lower at $10.13 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midsession. Front end contracts are being pressured by deliveries against the February contract and weaker boxed beef prices on Thursday. Only light cash trade has been reported and it was steady to slightly lower in Nebraska yesterday. Deferred contracts are narrowly mixed with little direction ahead of the weekend. February is 55 cents lower at $108.335 and April is 18 cents lower at $112.90.
Lean hog futures are mostly lower at midday. The soon to expire February contract is holding near unchanged as it is near the cash index, but profit-taking from the strong gains yesterday are weighing on deferreds. Deferred contracts are at a wide premium and some traders have decided to take some profits. February is 25 cents higher at $86.98 while April is 65 cents lower at $93.05.
Cotton futures are mixed at midsession. Front end contracts are higher on further speculative buying amid tight cotton stocks and strong demand. But deferreds have turned lower on a round of profit-taking from recent gains. March is 412 points higher at 191.70 cents while December is 298 points lower at 128.52 cents.