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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade (as of 6:30 a.m. CT) and opening livestock calls:
Corn: Mixed. The December through July contracts are 3 to 4 cents lower, with deferred-month contracts narrowly mixed. Traders are working on evening positions ahead of tomorrow morning's USDA S&D Report, which is expected to show carryover up from last month due to sluggish demand. Additional pressure on nearby futures comes from improved weather in Argentina, which is expected to promote planting.
Soybeans: Mixed. January through July contracts are 1 to 2 cents higher, with deferred futures mostly 1 to 3 cents lower. Traders look for tomorrow morning's USDA report to show a slight drop in carryover from last month due to strong export demand. According to official Chinese customs data, soybean imports in November were down 27% from last month but were up 3% from the previous month. Year-to-date imports of 52.49 MMT are up 11.4% from the previous year.
Wheat: Favoring a weaker tone. Chicago wheat futures are mostly 4 to 7 cents lower, Kansas City is marginally to 3 cents lower and Minneapolis is marginally lower in all but the March contract. Futures are being pressured by expectations USDA will raise its carryover projection tomorrow morning, as well as a lack of fresh news and concerns about the economy.
Live cattle: Weaker. Futures are vulnerable to profit-taking pressure this morning after cash cattle trade picked up Friday afternoon at $123 to $124, which is a dollar lower than the bulk of the previous week's trade. Additional pressure is expected to come amid economic concerns given the lack of progress on fiscal cliff negotiations.
Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a choppy start as traders even positions after last week's sharp decline. The market is vulnerable to more technically based selling, as it promotes ideas the cash market has posted a near-term high. Packers' profit margins have returned to the black, but demand for cash hogs is expected to be muted as packers say they will have no difficulty securing needed supplies.