Corn futures are trading higher at midday. Sharply higher soybeans and wheat are helping to boost the corn market. The dollar is weaker while crude oil is a slightly higher. Weekly export inspections for corn were soft at 22.2 million bushels. One news service poll pegs pre-release trade estimates for corn acreage at 94.7 million acres, up 2.8 or 3% from a year ago. May corn is 8 1/4 cents higher at $6.54 1/2. The December contract is 4 cents higher at $5.61 1/2.
Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. Another private forecasting service in Brazil reduced its projection for the harvest. The latest was a cut to 66.7 million tonnes, down two percent, by AgRural. A Chinese government source projected China’s soybean imports higher than the recent USDA forecast. A weak dollar and higher prices for other commodities including gold and crude oil are giving support. May is 20 3/4 cents higher at $13.86 1/2 and November is 13 1/2 cents higher at $13.36.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. There are two driving factors. One is ongoing alarm at drought stress already showing up in SE Europe, particularly Spain, Portugal and Southern France. But a new factor that just developed over the weekend was a mass of cold Canadian air expected to bring frost and freezes to the northern half of the Plains region this week, possibly dipping into HRW areas of NE Colorado and Kansas as well. And, there’s another mass of cold air in the charts for next week over much of the Midwest, a possible threat to SRW wheat in the MidSouth. CBOT May is 15 1/2 cents higher at $6.69 3/4, KCBOT May is 12 3/4 cents higher at $7.07 1/4 and MGE May is 13 1/4 cents higher at $8.30 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midday. The Cattle on Feed report released after the close on Friday showed cattle on feed only slightly higher than expected, but with weakening beef prices, the report didn’t provide any offsetting positive news. Marketings were a little lighter than expected which reinforced concern about a building backlog of market-ready cattle. However, futures are becoming oversold and gains in the stock market and weaker dollar are supportive. April cattle futures are 10 cents higher at $124.60 and June is 3 cents higher at $121.13.
Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. The decline in pork prices continued on Friday with the pork cutout dropping to $79.67 per cwt. For processors to make a profit, they can afford to pay about $75 for hogs, instead of the $81 they are currently paying. These poor pork prices continue to keep downward pressure on hog futures contracts. Early reports show cash hog prices down again on Monday. April is 58 cents lower at $84.45 and June is 38 cents lower at $91.85.