Corn and Soybeans Choppy in Lackluster Trade

March 4, 2013 12:53 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:50 a.m. CT:

Corn: Mixed. March through July futures are 1 to 2 cents higher, with new-crop futures narrowly mixed. There's little fresh news for the market to digest this morning, which is contributing to the choppy price tone. Limiting buying, however, is news a Chinese grain official said its demand for U.S. corn will not see much growth this year.

Soybeans: Mixed. March through July futures are 1 to 2 cents higher this morning, with deferreds mixed. Price action has been lackluster in the overnight session, with March beans holding within Friday's trading range. The weather situation in South America has stabilized and another winter storm moving into the Corn Belt this morning provides more evidence the weather pattern has turned active, which is limiting buying in new-crop futures.

Wheat: 4 to 6 cents lower. Wheat is being pressured by recent moisture across the Plains and forecasts for more this week, which is helping to stabilize the winter wheat crop. Choppy price action in corn and soybeans is also weighing on the market.

Live cattle: Steady to firmer. Futures are expected to see a lift from continued strength in the boxed beef market, with Choice values up $1.94 on Friday and Select up 5 cents on solid movement of 144 loads. Traders will be keeping a close eye on the beef market for cash clues, but another winter storm moving across the Plains and Midwest this morning is maintaining stress on animals and is supportive for prices.

Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a mixed start amid spreading. While packer demand for cash hogs has been light recently, a temporary pickup in demand is expected today ahead of the winter storm. Pork cutout values slipped 26 cents on Friday, but packer profit margins remain in the black. The cash market is called mostly steady with a firmer undertone.


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