Grain Markets Quiet Ahead of USDA Reports

February 8, 2013 12:07 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:10 a.m. CT:

Corn: Mixed. Corn futures are favoring a weaker tone in narrowly mixed trade, with traders awaiting USDA data later this morning. Weakness in the dollar index is helping to limit pressure on the market. Corn is working on sharp weekly losses and is due for some short-covering.

Soybeans: Mixed. Nearby futures are 1 to 4 cents higher with deferred futures favoring a weaker tone amid bull spreading. Price action is being limited ahead of the USDA reports, as traders are as interested in what USDA will do with the size of the South American crops as much as they are about U.S. carryover. Soybean futures have posted a narrow, sideways trading range this week.

Wheat: 1 to 3 cents higher. Wheat is benefiting from short-covering this morning and weakness in the dollar index. Futures are working on slight weekly losses and will be influenced by neighboring pits this morning as traders await the USDA reports.

Live cattle: Mixed. Traders are still waiting on cash cattle trade to begin as packers are reluctant to raise bids given sharply negative profit margins. Meanwhile, traders are waiting on signs the beef market has posted a near-term low. Mixed beef prices yesterday on strong movement of 200 loads could be the first hint of a low being in the works, but isn't enough to support higher cash bids.

Lean hogs: Steady to weaker. Futures are expected to be pressured by weakness in the pork market, as values slipped 72 cents yesterday to keep packers' profit margins well in the red. The cash hog market is expected to be softer again today.


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