Crop markets trading slightly higher at midday

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Corn futures are trading higher at midsession. Futures are in consolidation mode today with light support coming from gains in soybeans. New-crop is leading the gains despite the outlook for increased acreage this spring. However, with weather uncertainties for this spring and summer and the tight old-crop stocks, selling pressure has been limited. May is 1/2 of a cent higher at $6.48 and December is 2 cents higher at $5.62 1/4.

Soybean futures are trading higher at midday. The market is rebounding from recent profit-taking weakness as traders are beginning to even positions ahead of the Prospective Plantings report due out next week Friday. Solid export demand and the declining soybean production estimates for South American remain bullish factors. The China National Grain and Oils Information Center expects China to import around 29 million metric tons of soybeans in the first half of the year, a quarter more than the same time last year. May is 5 1/2 cents higher at $13.50 1/2 and November is 8 3/4 cents higher at $13.16.

Wheat futures are trading higher at midsession. The market is stabilizing after selling off earlier this week. However, bearish weather and export news are limiting buying interest. Weather remains favorable in the Plains and Midwest for winter wheat growth as there is rainfall and above normal temperatures forecast for much of the next couple of weeks. CBOT May is 1 1/2 cents higher at $6.44, KCBT May is 3 cents higher at $6.83 1/2 and MGE May is 4 3/4 cents higher at $8.04.   

Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. Short-covering following recent weakness is weighing on the market. Light cash trade developed at $124 yesterday, but talk of some $125 business today has helped the futures market rally. The market remains concerned about beef demand, but there is some optimism that demand will pick up seasonally soon. April is 85 cents higher at $125.38 and June is $1.05 higher at $122.50.

Lean hog futures are higher at midday. The futures market has turned higher on short-covering following recent weakness. The market is higher despite the $1.58 drop in pork cutout values on Tuesday. Packer margins are poor and pork prices have slipped to the lowest level since January, 2011. April is 30 cents higher at $85.25 and June is 28 cents higher at $92.93.



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