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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:
Corn: 1 to 4 cents higher. Futures saw spillover from neighboring pits overnight and on help from positive outside markets. Corn was bolstered yesterday by a stronger-than-expected weekly export sales tally -- reminding the market of the strong demand pace. But so far, there isn't a lot of concern about a sub-one-billion-bu. carryover peg for 2011-12 due to expectations for a larger acreage base this year.
Soybeans: 4 to 8 cents higher. It's been a strong week for the soybean market -- running counter to a seasonal February break, which is typically secured by mid-month. March soybeans have posted a solid rally so far this month and technically, are strong. Traders are working to secure more soybean acres, as they fear dryness in southern Brazil will further trim crop prospects in the coming weeks.
Wheat: 6 to 8 cents higher. Wheat was boosted overnight by positive outside markets and news out of Ukraine that traders there have agreed to limit wheat exports to 1.7 million metric tons through July following a request from the government due to concerns about winterkill in this year's crop. While there has been no official government announcement, traders are adding some premium into the market as it brightens the outlook for U.S. wheat exports.
Live cattle: Steady to higher. Futures are expected to be higher this morning in anticipation of stronger cash cattle trade. The combination of tighter showlists and strength in the beef market has traders looking for $1 to $2 higher cash trade by this afternoon. Choice beef values were 82 cents higher yesterday and Select rose $1.26, although movement slowed to 184 loads.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are called mixed on a combination of followthrough buying from yesterday's gains and profit-taking. There is some concern about pork cutout values retracing much of the previous day's gains, as values dropped $1.89 yesterday. But with profit margins returning to the black, there is optimism demand for cash supplies will improve next week.