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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights as of 7:30 a.m. CT and opening livestock calls:
Corn: 1 to 4 cents higher. Today starts the beginning of the delivery process on March grain contracts and as expected, there were no deliveries against corn due to strength in the cash market caused by tight supplies. Focus today will be on end-of-the-month position squaring and the weekly export sales report.
Soybeans: Mixed. Futures are once again seeing bull spreading due to ongoing talk of China buying old-crop U.S. soybeans due to shipping delays in Brazil. Meanwhile, new-crop futures are being pressured by this week's beneficial moisture. There were no deliveries against March soybean futures, which was as expected given the tight supply situation. Traders will be watching to see if the weekly export sales report reflects the recent uptick in demand for old-crop soybeans.
Wheat: 5 to 7 cents higher. Wheat is enjoying support from concerns about tight supplies and from the fact March Chicago wheat is trading at around a 3 cent discount to March corn futures. An overdue price recovery in corn futures would be beneficial for wheat futures. However, if corn prices continue to erode, it will be difficult for wheat to see more than short-covering.
Live cattle: Steady to firmer. Futures are expected to find support on evidence the boxed beef market has posted a near-term low, giving traders more confidence to reestablish long positions. Choice beef values were up $1.06 yesterday and Select was up $2.30 on solid movement. Cash cattle trade, however, is expected to be delayed until tomorrow as packers are hesitant to raise bids although market-ready supplies are tighter this week.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a choppy start, with some support coming from a 49-cent increase in pork cutout values. Still, packers' demand for cash hogs is lackluster and they are even planning a smaller Saturday kill. The cash hog market is called steady to weaker again today.