Corn futures are called steady to narrowly mixed. Overnight trade was unchanged in most active months. Outside markets and the weekly export sales report could provide light support for the corn market. Dow Jones futures were higher overnight and crude oil was up about 50 cents in the nearby. Weekly export sales are expected to be in the 32-39 million bushel range. Weather forecasts will also be watched. Improved planting conditions this week will be countered by forecasts for rain and cooler weather this weekend and early next week in the Midwest.



Soybean futures are called 8 to 10 cents higher. Overnight trade was 7 3/4 to 11 1/2 cents higher. Continued strong export demand from China and tight old-crop stocks will be supportive for old-crop contracts. Weekly export sales due out this morning are expected to be strong with trade estimates ranging from 33-40 million bushels. The improved planting conditions for corn this week will help new-crop rally as it may help limit a switch to soybeans, although forecasts look rather wet again this weekend and next week in the Delta and Midwest.



Wheat futures are called steady to mixed. Overnight CBOT trade was 1/2 to 2 cents lower and the KCBT was 1/2 of a cent higher to 1/2 lower. Some consolidation trade is expected after the rally on Wednesday that was led by the MGE. Spring wheat planting delays continue to be a concern. Gains in winter wheat will be limited by forecasts for rain and warmer temperatures in the southern Plains that should help foster improved crop conditions. Trade expectations for the weekly export sales report range from 11-15 million bushels.



Cattle futures are called steady to mixed as futures traders wait for the cash market to develop. Cash trade is expected to develop at $1-$2 higher this week, but possibly not until on Friday. Strengthening boxed beef prices will provide underlying support. Choice cutouts were up another $1.41 on Wednesday. Concern that beef prices will be unable to be sustained over the next couple of months weighed on futures yesterday.



Lean hog futures are called steady to lower. Pork cutouts were down again on Wednesday, dropping $1.07. While the cash market has been firm this week, poor packer margins will limit gains or could push cash prices lower soon. Underlying support will come from end of March pork in storage down 10% from last year.