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Grain Futures Lackluster Overnight

August 17, 2011
By: Julianne Johnston, Pro Farmer Digital Managing Editor

Follow me on twitter @julijohnston

Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:

Corn: Marginally to 2 cents lower. Following yesterday's strong day, corn futures saw lackluster price action overnight. December corn matched yesterday's fresh contract high of $7.28 1/2 overnight, pivoting around unchanged. Continued deterioration of crop conditions is concerning, as it points to further tightening of new-crop carryover projections.

Soybeans: Marginally to 1 cent lower. Futures were choppy overnight, favoring a slight downside bias. Positive outside markets limited price pressure. Traders are also keeping a close eye on the forecast, which calls for warmer and drier conditions in the western Corn Belt into western Illinois next week. If realized, it would provide some stress to the crop.

Wheat: Mixed. Futures were mixed overnight, with pressure limited by positive outside markets. The U.S. dollar index is sharply weaker, with crude oil sharply higher this morning. Wheat remains in a follower's role, but has worked to widen the spread with corn recently.

Live cattle: Higher. Futures are expected to be higher as the case for higher cash cattle bids is building. Choice beef values were up $2.73 yesterday and Select rose $2.33. This week's estimated showlist is down considerably from last week, which gives feedlots even more bargaining power.

Lean hogs: Lower. Futures are expected to be pressured by yesterday's sharp drop in pork cutout values, signaling a top is in place. Pork cutout values dropped $2 yesterday to tighten packers' profit margins. The cash hog market is called steady to lower as packers are having no difficulty securing this week's needs.


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