Corn futures are trading higher at midday. Short-covering is supporting the market amid ideas that wet weather will slow spring field work in some of the Corn Belt. A wet weather pattern is forecast to develop in the western Corn Belt. Strength in the dollar is limiting futures gains. May is 2 3/4 cents higher at $3.48 1/2 and July is 2 1/2 cents higher at $3.60.
Soybean futures are higher at midsession. Firm cash markets and short-covering are pushing futures higher. But gains are being limited by the continued harvest of the record crop in South America. Brazil’s harvest is estimated to be around 75% complete. Strength in the dollar is also a bearish factor. May is 3 1/4 cents higher at $9.39 1/4 and July is 3 cents higher at $9.48 1/4.
Wheat futures are up strongly at midday. News that Iraq bought 500,000 tonnes of wheat with some of the business going to the U.S. helped trigger a short-covering rally. The market is up strongly despite the strong crop condition ratings released Monday afternoon. USDA pegged winter wheat at 65% good to excellent compared to 43% at this time last year. CBOT May is 12 3/4 cents higher at $4.66 1/4, KCBT May is 15 1/4 cents higher at $4.87 and MGE May is 16 1/2 cents higher at $5.06.
Cattle futures are trading mostly lower at midsession. Profit-taking has developed from the recent rally that pushed some deferred contract to new highs on Monday. But the nearby April contract is higher on expectations of firm cash trade this week and the strength in boxed beef prices. Choice cutouts were up $1.22 yesterday, hitting the highest level since August 2008. April is 23 cents higher at $97.55 and June is 10 cents lower at $94.10.
Lean hog futures are mixed at midday. April has hit the highest level for a lead contract in 19 months. Some months set new contract highs this morning before profit-taking developed. But front end contracts are being supported by the firm tone in the cash market and higher pork prices. April is 58 cents higher at $76.70 and June was 15 cents higher at $85.20.