The forecast for more Midwest rain seems to be lending support to the grain markets. The crop markets lost momentum yesterday in the face of technical resistance and ended lower.. Resistance in the US Dollar index may also be boosting grains. July corn rose 4.75 cents to $3.6375/bushel around the lunch hour Thursday, and December gained 4.5 cents to $3.8125.     

Dollar weakness may be supporting soybeans and meal during Thursday morning trading.  However, talk of more than expected rainfall in coming weeks might be what’s behind this late morning surge as traders consider the effects on the final planting push for soybeans. Meal continues tracking with beans, whereas soyoil consolidated its recent EPA-driven surge. July soybean futures gained 12.75 cents to $9.4825/bushel in early Thursday trading, while July soyoil dipped 0.04 cents to 34.69 cents/pound, and July meal rose $4.3 to $307.0/ton.    

Wheat futures also seem to be riding the weather story this morning over wetness and crop condition concerns especially in the Southern Plains. This resumes the upward trend from this week asserting the fact that wheat is on track a third gain in the last four sessions. Also, some reports of low test weights and weak yields from some early harvested fields in Texas seem to be adding bullishness. July CBOT wheat futures spiked 12 cents to $5.2275/bushel approaching the noon hour on Thursday, while July KC wheat advanced  10.75 cent to $5.40/bushel, and July MWE wheat gained 11.75 to $5.7475.  

Live cattle futures traded higher this morning presumably on the USDA report on boxed beef values that suggested firmness. This is consistent with firm country cattle prices that have tended to pull discounted CME futures higher in recent weeks. This is welcomed new for producers as beef prices are now suffering their traditional spring swoon, which could potentially depress cattle prices as they did in the Wednesday afternoon losses. August cattle futures edged .9 cents higher to 151.52 cents/pound at midday on Thursday, while December futures gained 0.57 cents to 154.25. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures were up 1.25 cents to 223.15 cents/pound, and November feeders climbed 0.45 to 218.50.    

Hog futures headed lower again Thursday morning. While CME hogs performed well early this week, they proved unable to break out above major chart resistance at modestly higher levels. That technical failure, as well as midweek losses at both the cash and wholesale levels, seemed to spark long liquidation and short selling Tuesday. August hog futures declined 1.80 cents to 79.70 cents/pound around the lunchtime on Thursday, while December sank 1.17 to 66.92.     

Cotton futures traded higher Thursday morning. After reacting very weakly to supportive news over the weekend, cotton futures turned upward at midweek and continue climbing today. Ongoing U.S. dollar losses could be favoring export demand for the fiber. Forecasts for southern Plains dryness could be supporting supply concerns as Texas plantings have been much slower than normal. July cotton advanced .38 cents to 65.62 cents/pound late Thursday morning, and December futures lifted 0.31 to 65.59.