Crop stress in South America support corn, soybean markets

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Corn futures are strongly higher at midday. The market has turned higher amid the continued dry conditions in South America over the weekend that further deteriorated crop conditions.  Traders are beginning to gearing up for the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning. Traders are looking for USDA to trim U.S. 2011 corn production and it could raise the U.S. export forecast if Argentina’s corn crop estimate is lowered. March is 11 cents higher at $6.54 1/2 and May is 10 3/4 cents higher at $6.61 1/2.  

Soybean futures are trading sharply higher at midday. Support is being generated from hot and dry weather in Argentina over the weekend that is trimming soybean crop prospects even though forecasts are calling for some rain this week. The market is beginning to gear up for the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning. Of increased interest will be if or how much USDA lowers its soybean productions estimates for Brazil and Argentina. January is 31 3/4 cents higher at $12.21 1/4 and March is 33 1/2 cents higher at $12.30.  

Wheat futures are higher at midsession. Winter wheat futures are posting strong gains on spillover support from corn and soybeans along with small losses in the dollar index this morning. The MGE has turned higher as well although gains have been muted by technical weakness after futures hit a six-month low on Friday. Traders are gearing up for the USDA report due out on Thursday. CBOT March is 16 cents higher at $6.40 3/4, KCBT March is 14 1/4 cents higher at $6.94 1/4 and MGE March is 4 1/4 cents higher at $8.05 1/4.   

Cattle futures are trading lower at midsession. The market is being pressured by declining beef prices and steady to lower cash trade late last week. Cash trade developed at steady to $1 lower on a live basis and $2 to $4 lower on a dressed basis. Showlists are expected to be larger this week and weather remains favorable for feedlot performance. But losses are being limited by ideas that short-bought packers will not be able to lower bids much if at all this week. February is 48 cents lower at $119.85 and April is 18 cents lower at $124.43.

Lean hog futures are mixed at midday. Steady to firm cash markets are providing light support to the nearby contract. Market ready hog numbers are beginning to tighten and packers have needed to raise bids to fill slaughter schedules. However, pork prices have been moving lower, which is bearish for deferred contracts. February is 10 cents higher at $84.00 and April is 5 cents higher at $87.80.



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