Corn futures are higher at midday. Short-covering has developed to help prices rebound from the strong losses on Monday. Strength in crude oil and weakness in the dollar are supportive factors. However, gains are being limited by the strong pace of corn planting. USDA estimated planting at 19% as of Sunday, up from only 3% the previous week. Weather forecasts indicate favorable planting conditions until later this week. May is 4 3/4 cents higher at $3.52 1/2 and July is 4 1/2 cents higher at the $3.61 3/4.    


 


Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. The market is being supported by a short-covering bounce, solid export demand and firm crude oil prices. USDA reported the sale of 232,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for delivery to China in 2010/11. Rain is slowing some of the tail end of harvest in Brazil while drier weather is helping harvest activity in Argentina. May is 7 1/2 cents higher at $9.84 1/4 and July is 7 1/2 cents higher at $9.94.  


 


Wheat futures are strongly higher at midday. Following the sharp losses on Monday, short-covering has developed to push prices higher. Fundamental news remains mostly bearish. USDA pegged the winter wheat crop at 69% good to excellent, up from 65% the previous week and 43% at this time last year. CBOT May is 16 1/2 cents higher at $4.84 1/4, KCBT May is 15 3/4 cents higher at $4.99 and MGE May is 14 1/4 cents higher at $5.15.  


 


Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. Futures have drifted lower in light volume on some ideas that beef prices are topping. On Monday, choice beef prices hit the highest level since July 2008. Cash trade is not expected to develop until later this week. Current ideas are for cash trade to be steady to firm with the $98-$100 trade last week. April is 28 cents lower at $98.68 and June is 10 cents lower at $94.40.


 


Lean hog futures are lower at midday. Profit-taking developed this morning to weigh on prices following the rally to some contract highs on Monday. Underlying support continues to come from strengthening pork prices, which were up 80 cents on Monday. Cash markets are mostly steady, but packer margins are favorable and they may be forced to raise bids the second half of the week. June is 65 cents lower at $85.70 and July is 20 cents lower at $86.15.