Corn futures are called mixed, with upside potential from planting delays limited by strength in the dollar index.
- Nearby corn ended the overnight session marginally to 2 cents higher, with deferred futures narrowly mixed.
- While much of the upper Midwest is covered by snow, traders aren't overly concerned about planting delays yet as next week's forecast is more favorable and trader realize producers can get a lot of crop planted in a short period of time.
- Strength in the dollar index will limit buying enthusiasm in the commodity markets. This morning's monthly employment report showed the economy added 165,000 non-farm payrolls, which came in above expectations.
Soybean futures are called to open 5 to 7 cents higher amid spreading.
- Soybean futures ended the overnight session 5 to 7 cents higher, but early gains could be limited by strength in the dollar index.
- Tight supplies are supporting old-crop futures, with spread unwinding with corn supporting new-crop futures this morning.
- Gulf soybean basis is steady for immediate delivery this morning, but has slipped by 15 cents for deliver the last half of the monthly
- Strength in the dollar index is negative for commodity markets this morning. The monthly employment report showed unemployment fell to 7.5% in April.
Wheat futures are called 1 to 3 cents higher amid ongoing crop concerns.
- Wheat futures ended the overnight session 1 to 4 cents higher on concerns about the HRW wheat crop due to an overnight freeze event and ongoing drought.
- Results from the Wheat Quality Council's tour of the HRW Wheat Belt showed yield potential down from year-ago.
- Additional crop concerns come from planting delays in spring wheat country, where much of the region is blanketed by snow.
- But strength in the dollar index due to a better-than-expected monthly employment report will temper buying enthusiasm in the commodity markets.
Live cattle futures are called to open steady to higher on strength in the boxed beef market.
- Live cattle futures closed moderately to sharply higher yesterday and are expected to benefit from followthrough buying this morning.
- Choice boxed beef values improved $1.09 yesterday to move above $200.50 per cwt (60 cents shy of the all-time record) and Select rose 81 cents. Movement slowed to 128 loads.
- Cash cattle trade so far this week has occurred between $128 and $129 in the Southern Plains, with trade in Nebraska at $130 to $131.
- Strength in the cash market opens fresh upside potential for nearby live cattle as these contracts are trading at a sharp discount to the cash market. But this signals traders don't see cash strength lasting.
Lean hog futures are called to open mixed as traders even positions ahead of the weekend.
- Lean hog futures ended yesterday mixed, with more of the same expected today as traders gauge the pork and cash hog markets.
- Pork cutout values improved 82 cents yesterday and movement was moderate at 352.3 loads. Improvement in the pork market helped to lift packers' profit margins, although they remain in the red.
- The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady this morning as packers have secured supplies.
- May lean hog futures are trading at around a $6 premium to the cash index, which signals traders believe the worst is behind in terms of demand. But this limits upside potential and raises the risk of profit-taking.