Corn futures are steady to higher at midday. The price strength is centered in the old-crop May and July futures contracts. Cash basis levels continue very strong amid solid demand and slow farmer selling. Higher old-crop prices are supportive to new-crop as well, but planting continues to progress rapidly. Planting progress came in at 71 percent, a few points above expectations. Planting progress increased from 53 percent a week ago and is well above the ten-year average at 55 percent. July corn is 5 1/2 cents higher at $6.25 1/2. The December contract is steady at $5.24 3/4.
Soybean futures are trading lower at midsession. Soybeans opened higher during early morning trade, only to decline amid weaknesses in the crude oil markets and technical selling. Soybean should see added support from export sales and reductions in the South American soybean crop. Today, USDA confirmed to sale of 225,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, 60,000 tonnes to be delivered in 2011/2012 and 165,000 tonnes to be delivered in 2012/2013. The July contract is down 16 1/4 cents at $14.49 1/2, and the November contract is down 12 1/4 cents at$13.41 1/4.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midsession. Wheat opened higher this morning as a result of short covering after a decline in front month contracts. Wheat futures are also seeing added support from the rise in the price of corn. Look for a steady dollar and strong global supply of wheat to add downward pressure on wheat prices. Traders are expecting USDA to forecast the 2012/2013 winter wheat supply at 1.63 billion bushels, up approximately 10 percent from the previous year. The report will be released on Thursday. CBOT July is 3 cents higher at $6.15 1/2; KCBT July is 3 ½ cents higher at $6.35 3/4; and MGE July is 2 cents higher at $7.38.
Cattle futures are trading strongly lower at midsession. Cattle futures saw a reversal of yesterday’s gains as a result of profit taking. Cattle futures continue to see downward pressure on prices as the dollar remains firm. Traders are anticipating steady cash cattle trade this week based on favorable beef margins. Initial asking prices range from $122 to $123 in the South and $195 to $197 in the North. Boxed beef prices saw some improvement yesterday with choice up 19 cents at $190.48 while select was down $1.43 at $184.67. June cattle futures are 77 cents lower at $115.50 and August is 92 cents lower at $117.90.
Hog futures are lower at midday Tuesday. The market is being pressured by both cash market fundamentals and developments in outside markets. Hog and pork prices were both lower on Monday and show no signs of the long awaited seasonal improvement. The stock market is posting big losses and the U.S. dollar index is higher. The June contract is down 35 cents, falling to $84.02. July is $1.02 lower at $84.17.