Corn futures are called 1 cent higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CST was 1/2 to 1 cent higher. The market remains in a sideways trading range and trade volume is expected to slow ahead of the Christmas break. Sluggish export demand and ample corn supplies remain bearish factors. Export inspections last week were less than half the pace needed to reach USDA's export forecast. However, the winter storm headed for the Corn Belt that will further delay the last 5% of harvest is slightly supportive.



Soybean futures are called 4 to 5 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CST was 3 3/4 to 4 3/4 cents higher. Prices rebounded overnight from the losses posted on Tuesday. Strong export demand remains a supportive factor. Export inspections were strong again last week at 29.9 million, although that was below trade expectations. However, generally favorable crop weather in South America with planting nearly completion remains an underlying bearish factor.



Wheat futures are called steady to mixed. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CST was 1/4 to 3/4 of a cent lower at the CBOT and 1/2 to 3/4 of a cent lower at the KCBT. Choppy pre-holiday trade is expected in the wheat market. The unwinding of spreads on Tuesday helped support wheat and pressure corn and soybeans on Tuesday. But gains will be limited today by bearish fundamentals. Export demand remains sluggish and export inspections last week were only 13.3 million bushels, which is below the pace needed to reach USDA's export forecast. Recent strength in the dollar is a negative factor for the export market.



Cattle futures are called higher on the open. The cash market developed late on Tuesday at $1-2 higher than last week in Kansas at $82 and $132 dressed in Nebraska, up $3 from last week. Packers were anxious to do some business ahead of the approaching winter storm. Boxed beef prices were also slightly higher, posting gains of 14 to 18 cents. But gains will be limited by light pre-holiday trade and concern about sluggish beef demand.



Lean hog futures are called steady to lower. Pork cutout prices were down slightly on Tuesday and the tone in the cash market remains on the defensive. Packer demand is expected to be slow ahead of the plant closures on Thursday and Friday. Ideas that pork prices have peaked will remain a limiting factor for futures.