Corn futures are trading higher at midsession as March futures cleared the $6.00 mark, rallying to a six week high. Corn continues to find support from concern over tight U.S. supplies, dryness in Argentina and the need for additional corn plantings in 2011. The outside markets are providing a little headwind with crude oil lower and the dollar working higher. Weekly export inspections totaled 27 million bushels. March corn is 6 cents higher at $6.02 1/2. May corn is trading 5 cents higher at $6.09 1/4.
Soybean futures are sharply higher at midday. The market is higher this morning due to continuing concerns about the risk of soybean crop damage in Argentina. Despite generally favorable weekend rains in the northern half of the belt, traders are concentrating more on high temperature readings that have soared well into the 90 degree range. More heat is in the near-term forecast. USDA announced weekly soybean inspections at 44.6 million bushels, and that was larger than expected. Further, the previous week was revised higher by 11 million bushels to an identical 44.6 million. China remains the main destination. January is 17 cents higher at $13.15 3/4 and March is 17 1/4 cents higher at $13.27 3/4.
Wheat futures are also higher this morning. Ongoing concerns about the quality of the Australian wheat crop are helping boost prices again today. Also, Russian officials are indicating that the wheat export embargo could extend beyond July 1, 2011, depending on the size of the crop. In addition to weather, it appears delays in the distribution of fertilizer are adding to their woes. Weekly U.S. wheat export inspections were about as expected at 23 million bushels. CBOT March is 18 cents higher at $7.74 3/4, KCBT March is 19 3/4 cents higher at $8.31 1/2 and MGE March is 20 1/4 cents higher at $8.62 1/4.
Cattle futures started lower, but bounced back modestly by midmorning to trade slightly higher. Friday’s cattle on feed report is neutral to a bit negative for prices on slightly higher than expected placements. Feedlots are current, but light fed cattle sales last week may translate into additional cattle to market in holiday shortened trade this week. February cattle are 27 cents higher at $104.77 and April is 22 cents higher at $108.37.
Lean hog futures are trading lower at midsession. Cash hogs are expected to be steady to a little weaker. There is some profit-taking after Friday’s futures rally. Packer demand for hogs is seen as moderate to light in the face of the shortened holiday trading week. February is 40 cents lower at $75.50 and April is 27 cents lower at $80.20.
Cotton futures are trading sharply higher midmorning. The stronger U.S. market follows large gains overnight in the Chinese market. Worries persist about the long-term adequacy of trade supplies if India restricts additional exports. The U.S. is tracking toward the least stocks since 1925, but demand has shown little tendency to contract due to higher prices. March is 400 points higher, up the limit, at 154.12 cents and May is limit higher at 142.39 cents. New-crop was trading at 99.30 cents, up 162 points.