Corn futures are called 1 cent lower Thursday after dipping 1 to 1 1/4 cents in overnight trade. This week's pop higher has attracted a modest increase in cash corn sales. However, a warm, dry pattern has returned to Argentina and corn futures in China have turned strongly higher this week to lend fundamental support.

Soybean futures are expected to open about a penny higher after gaining 1/2 to 2 cents in the overnight session. Weather in Brazil is improving but a warm, dry pattern has returned to Argentina. The December crush report due out this morning will provide additional input.

Wheat futures are called steady to a penny lower. Chicago wheat was down 1/2 to 1 cent in the overnight session while Kansas City ranged from 1 lower to 3/4 of a cent higher. A weak weather disturbance will bring light rain in the Southwest Thursday but most of the moisture will be south and east of the major wheat areas.

Cattle futures are called steady to slightly lower Thursday. Boxed beef cutout values were down $1.34 Wednesday afternoon, reinforcing ideas that the cash cattle market is topping. The USDA Cattle Inventory report due out Friday afternoon is expected to reflect herd expansion.

Lean hog futures are called slightly lower on the open Thursday. Technical selling will continue to weigh on the market in the wake of the recent steep setback. February futures fell to the lowest level since mid July on Wednesday. The pork cutout value slipped 21 cents Wednesday afternoon.