Crop markets mixed on Wednesday

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Corn futures are trading mixed at midday. Old-crop contracts are trading slightly higher and new-crop lower ahead of USDA’s annual outlook conference later this week. Strong export demand and projections for tight old-crop supplies are supportive for front end contracts while ideas of increased acreage and possibly a record crop is weighing lightly on new-crop. March is 1 3/4 cents higher at $6.31 1/4 while December is 1/4 of a cent lower at $5.63 1/2.    

Soybean futures are lower at midsession. Profit-taking and outside market pressure is weighing on the soybean market. Strength in the dollar index and uncertainty about USDA’s annual outlook conference are bearish factors. The market is pulling back after the recent rally to the highest level in four months on strong export demand and declining soybean production estimates for South America. March is 6 cents lower at $12.65 and November is 6 3/4 cents lower at $12.55 1/2. 

Wheat futures are trading mixed at midday. Wheat futures are mixed on positioning ahead of USDA’s annual outlook conference later this week. Light strength in old-crop corn is providing light support while strength in the dollar index is bearish. The MGE is trading lower on forecasts for some snowfall in the northern Plains, which should help boost soil moisture levels ahead of spring. CBOT March is 1/2 of a cent lower at $6.32 1/2, KCBT March is 1 1/4 cents higher at $6.78 1/4 and MGE March is 3 3/4 cents lower at $8.13.   

Cattle futures are trading mixed at midsession. The futures market is looking for direction after hitting new highs in recent sessions as traders wait for the Cattle on Feed report on Friday afternoon. Cash fundamentals remain generally positive. Smaller showlists this week and strength in boxed beef prices could continue to support cash trade despite poor packer margins. February is 10 cents lower at $128.80 while June is 13 cents higher, also trading at $128.80.

Lean hog futures are higher at midday. The steady to firm cash and light short-covering ahead of the Cold Storage report due out this afternoon is supporting the market. Packers are holding up cash market bids despite poor margins and the 39 cent decline in pork cutouts on Tuesday. The average trade estimate for the Cold Storage report for pork in storage for January is 539.8 million pounds. April is 25 cents higher at $90.08 and June is 40 cents higher at $99.75.



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