Corn futures are trading mixed at midday, with old-crop contracts slightly lower. After reaching 30-month highs on Friday, light profit-taking is weighing on old-crop contracts. New-crop futures remain higher as crops are still in a fight for acreage next spring. March is 4 cents lower at $6.53 1/4 while December 2011 is 1 1/4 cents higher at $5.88 1/2.
Soybean futures are steady to lower at midsession. Initial support came from the big soybean purchases by China last week. While visiting Chicago, a Chinese delegation announced plans to buy 11.5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans for the 2010/11 and 2011/12 marketing years. However, light profit-taking and weakness in crude oil is weighing on the market. March is 6 cents lower at $14.06 1/4 and November is 8 1/2 cents lower at $13.39 3/4.
Wheat futures are higher at midday. Improved export demand for U.S. wheat and concern about global wheat production are supportive factors. The flooding in Australia and dry conditions in the U.S. Plains have been in the market, but now concern about drought in China’s wheat growing regions are a bullish factor. CBOT March is 3 1/2 cents higher at $8.28, KCBT March is 2 1/4 cents higher at $9.02 1/4 and MGE March is 5 1/4 cents higher at $9.42 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. The Cattle on Feed report released after the close on Friday showed December placements up 16% and on feed number up 5% versus last year. Both numbers were slightly above pre-report trade estimates. Cash cattle trade lower last week at mostly $106. However, packer margins are improved as choice cutout prices were higher last week, hitting the highest level since July 2008. February is $1.05 lower at $106.90 and April is 95 cents lower at $111.73.
Lean hog futures are lower at midday. The premium of futures to cash and spillover pressure from cattle are weighing on the market. However front end losses are being limited by ideas of steady cash trade. Tightening supplies of market ready hogs are expected to help support cash prices. February is 8 cents lower at $80.25 and April is 38 cents lower at $86.20.
Cotton futures are sharply higher at midsession, with front end contracts up the 500 point limit. Speculative buying has been fueled by strength in Chinese cotton markets and bullish supply/demand fundamentals. March is 500 points higher at 161.94 cents and May is 500 points higher at 156.27 cents.