Corn futures are called 2 to 5 cents higher on concerns about planting delays.
- Corn futures ended the overnight session 2 to 4 cents higher, with May corn remaining above the $5.00 level.
- Corn futures were supported overnight by concerns that planting delays will linger into May, as the NWS 6- to 10-day forecast calls for below-normal temps and above-normal precip in the eastern Belt.
- Bulls hold the near-term advantage as funds have extended their long exposure to the market this week. Key will be how comfortable traders are with their positions heading into the weekend.
- Otherwise, there's little fresh news for the market to digest this morning.
Soybean futures are called 2 to 12 cents higher amid bull spreading.
- Soybean futures were choppy overnight, but ended firmer. Old-crop soybean futures finished the overnight session 8 to 10 cents higher, with new-crop futures mostly 1 to 2 cents higher.
- Bull spreading continues to be the dominant trend due to tight old-crop stocks.
- Buying in new-crop futures is being limited by concerns that corn planting delays raise the risk producers will switch some acres to soybeans, although there is still time to get intended corn acres planted.
- A weaker U.S. dollar index is supportive for the market this morning.
Wheat futures are called to open 5 to 10 cents higher due to weather concerns.
- SRW and HRW wheat ended the overnight session 6 to 8 cents higher, with HRS up 4 to 6 cents.
- Wheat futures were supported overnight by concerns about the HRW wheat crop, as the NWS 6- to 10-day forecast calls for below-normal precip across the Central and Southern Plains.
- Below-normal temps are also forecast for the Northern Plains, although the outlook also calls for below-normal precip.
- Escalating tensions in the Black Sea region have also provided the wheat market with support this week.
- Bulls have regained the near-term technical advantage in the wheat market. A high-range close for the week would open additional near-term upside potential.
Live cattle futures are called to open slightly lower in lackluster trade.
- Live cattle futures saw slight losses in overnight trade following yesterday's gains to maintain this week's choppy tone.
- Traders are focused on evening positions ahead of this afternoon's Cattle on Feed Report. According to pre-report expectations, traders look for On Feed at 100.2%, Placements at 100.8% and Marketings at 96.4% of year-ago levels.
- Light cash trade was seen at steady levels in the Northern Plains earlier this week, but no cash trade has yet been reported in the Southern Plains.
- Boxed beef values have risen sharply this week to improve packer profit margins. Given tighter market-ready supplies in the Southern Plains, expectations are for at least steady cash trade and possibly $1 higher trade.
Lean hog futures are called to open mixed as traders even positions ahead of the weekend.
- Lean hog futures were mostly firmer overnight in choppy trade.
- Traders are reevaluating positions following this week's gains in futures. Traders still have the smaller-than-expected cold storage figure on their minds from earlier in the week.
- While the report reflected a tightening supply situation, pork cutout values have softened this week, pushing packers' profit margins deeper into the red.
- As a result, the cash hog market is called steady to weaker as packers work to improve margins.
- Buying will also be limited as the May contract holds a premium to the cash index, which has softened this week.