Corn futures are called 3 to 4 cents higher. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CT was 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 cents higher. Outside market strength is expected to support trade. Dow Jones futures and crude oil prices were higher while the dollar index was lower. Noncommercial selling pressure and bearish weather forecasts have kept the market on the defensive, but some short-covering is possible ahead of the Supply/Demand report due out on Friday morning. Weekly export sales will be reported this morning and shipments need to be 42.5 million bushels to stay on pace to reach USDA's 1.75 billion bushel forecast.



Soybean futures are called higher, led by new-crop. Overnight trade at 6:30 am CT was 2 1/4 cents higher (Aug) to 11 1/4 higher (Nov). After falling to a 2-month low in the spot contact, futures were able to rally overnight with the help of outside markets. Expectations for the stock market to open higher and solid gains in crude oil overnight coupled with weakness in the dollar will be supportive. Short-covering ahead of the Supply/Demand report due out Friday morning is also expected. However, gains will be limited by the favorable weather forecasts for crop development. Weekly export sales are expected to be by 29-40 million bushels with most of that in the new-crop marketing year.



Wheat futures are called 7 to 9 cents higher. Overnight trade as of 6:30 am CT was 8 3/4 to 9 cents higher at the CBOT, 7 1/4 to 7 1/2 cents higher at the KCBT and 5 1/2 to 5 3/4 cents higher at the MGE. Outside market support is expected to pull futures higher this morning. The dollar was down overnight, while Dow Jones futures and crude oil rallied. Seasonal harvest pressure should begin to slow in the Plains and some chances of rain exist in the Midwest. However, gains could be limited by the weekly export sales report due out this morning. Export sales are expected to be in the 9-15 million bushel range, but were only 8.9 million bushels last week.



Cattle futures are called steady to higher, although choppy action is possibly as traders wait for cash trade to develop for direction. Short-covering following the weakness so far this week and the firm boxed beef prices on Wednesday should provide some support. Also, outside markets should provide some strength as crude oil and Dow Jones futures were higher overnight.



Lean hog futures are called steady to higher. Some short-covering is expected following the big losses in futures on Wednesday. Pork cutout values were able to rebound $1.31 yesterday. While packer margins remain poor, hog supplies remain tight. Concern about the lack of more aggressive herd liquidation plans and ideas of slow pork demand will limit gains.