Corn futures are trading higher at midday. USDA reported another sale to an unknown destination this morning. This sale totals 19 million bushels and is for delivery in the current marketing year. This is widely thought to be part of the Chinese business that’s been rumored in the market for the past several days. Planting progress came in a few points below expectations at 28%, but well ahead of the five-year average at 15%. While planting is ahead of normal, cool/wet conditions are limiting emergence and crop development. May corn is 3 ¼ cents higher at $6.32. The December contract is 2 ½ cents higher at $5.48.
Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. Analysts are taking more critical looks at the harvest data from Argentina and concluding that the crop may total even less than recent pessimistic forecasts. The Argentine harvest is about one-third complete and the low yields seen so far are indicative of a crop that may total only 42.5 million tonnes or less. Last year was 49.2 million. Hopes for some better yields for later planted Argentine beans were set back by weekend frosts. The May contract is up 12 3/4 cents at $14.50 and the November contract is up 7 cents at $13.48 1/2.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. New frost threats have developed for soft red winter wheat this weekend and early next week. However, our weather consultant still believes temperature forecasts will moderate and little damage is likely. Plus, weather elsewhere in the world is mostly favorable for wheat. From a global perspective, the weather outlook is positive for production and negative for prices. Nonetheless, at midsession, CBOT May is up 11 ¾ cents at $6.36 ¾; KCBT May is up 9 ½ cents at $6.44 ¾ and MGE May is up 5 ½ cents at $7.97.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midday. Early price strength was a continuation of Monday’s late session recovery, but prices have pulled back from the early high. Outside markets are supportive with equities higher and the dollar index lower. Futures are also being supported by higher beef prices. Beef prices edged higher on Monday although volume was light. June cattle futures are 10 cents higher $114.67 and August is 10 cents lower at $118.50.
Lean hog futures are mostly higher at midday. The gains weren’t large but most contracts were on the plus side on Tuesday. Cash hog bids are reported to be steady to a little higher, which has provided support for futures contracts. Hog futures are also getting some support from outside markets, with the stock market posting good gains and the value of the dollar down a little. Cattle and corn prices are also generally higher on Tuesday. The lightly-traded May contract is down 53 cents at $87.88 and June is 5 cents higher at $87.85.