Dollar Strength Weighs on Grain Futures Overnight

February 10, 2012 12:42 AM

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

Corn: 2 to 4 cents lower. Futures saw followthrough from yesterday's late-session decline. USDA didn't provide any surprises in their data yesterday, which set the market up for a selloff as the day progressed. This morning, the U.S. dollar index is stronger on fresh worries about the euro-zone after finance ministers said the new Greek austerity deal doesn't go far enough in dealing with its debt issues.

Soybeans: 9 to 10 cents lower. Futures were weaker overnight due to negative outside markets. USDA left its U.S. carryover figure unchanged, garnering a neutral read by the market. But this morning focus is on news out of China, that shows its trade surplus expanded in January. Chinese imports slumped 15%, sparking questions over the sustainability of China's rapid economic growth.

Wheat: 7 to 8 cents lower. Futures saw spillover from neighboring pits overnight, as well as from negative outside markets. The U.S. dollar index is sharply higher this morning, triggering sharp selling in crude oil and gold futures. March Chicago wheat is hovering just above support at the Jan. 30 low of $6.35 1/4.

Live cattle: Steady to lower. Futures are expected to see spillover from widespread selling in the commodity world this morning, as well as some profit-taking following yesterday's gains. Beef prices were mixed yesterday, with Choice down 24 cents and Select up 84 cents. Overall improvement in the beef market this week raises expectations for firmer cash cattle trade later today, but so far packers have been unwilling to raise bids.

Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed after yesterday's strong price performance. Some profit-taking is possible, but attitudes are improving. Pork cutout values slipped 23 cents yesterday to keep packers' profit margins in the red. Expectations are for steady to $1 lower bids today as packers have supplies secured well into next week.


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