Follow me on twitter @julijohnston
Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:
Corn: 4 to 8 cents higher. Grain futures are seeing a boost this morning from sharp pressure on the U.S. dollar index. Better-than-expected economic in China is expected to lift investors' attitudes this morning. New data from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed the economy grew at an annualized rate of 8.9% in the last quarter of 2011. Investors says the data is a sign the global economic slowdown isn't as severe as feared.
Soybeans: 16 to 19 cents higher. Futures were lifted overnight by positive outside markets. Sharp pressure on the U.S. dollar index has propelled crude oil futures back above the $100-per-barrel mark. Chinese economic growth data has eased concerns of a hard landing in China, triggering widespread commodity buying overnight. Meanwhile, concerns have eased about South America's soybean crop after recent rains, as more scattered showers are in the forecast this week to ease stress from ongoing hot temps in Argentina.
Wheat: 5 to 8 cents higher. Futures benefited from spillover from neighboring pits and outside markets overnight. The U.S. dollar index is back testing support at the bottom of the recent choppy consolidation range and crude oil is sharply higher. Traders say positive Chinese economic growth has eased concerns about the euro-zone for the timebeing. Additional support is coming from concerns about a poor Ukraine wheat crop, which raises potential for the U.S. to gain export business.
Live cattle: Steady to higher. Futures have some catching up to do with last week's $2 higher cash cattle trade. After starting out at steady to weaker levels, cash cattle trade picked up in the Southern Plains at $123. February live cattle are trading at a slight discount to last week's cash. Meanwhile, the beef market started the week softer on decent movement of 200 loads.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to open mixed, with pressure limited by positive outside markets. Meanwhile, the cash hog market is called steady to weaker as packers work to improving ailing profit margins and are having no difficulty securing supplies.