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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:
Corn: Mixed. Futures were mixed overnight, with old-crop up around a penny and deferered futures marginally to 3 cents lower. May corn has returned to the top half of the long-lasting choppy trading range and needs to return above $6.75 to move the next step higher. The start of corn planting has put more focus on the prospects of a large 2012 crop, which weighed slightly on new-crop corn overnight.
Soybeans: 5 to 6 cents lower. Futures faced light profit-taking overnight. Bulls remain clearly in control off the soybean market, with a strong uptrend in place. Traders remain concerned about a small South American crop, as it keeps the U.S. export window open longer than usual. And with USDA providing a new-crop acreage surprise, traders look for global stocks to remain tight into the cominig marketing year.
Wheat: 5 to 9 cents lower. Futures were pressured overnight by improvement in crop condition ratings. Timely rains are needed, but the winter wheat crop started the spring in better condition than year-ago and when it went into dormancy. Wheat remains in a follower's role, however, meaning if corn continues its recent price recovery, wheat should enjoy some spillover buying.
Live cattle: Mixed. Another choppy day of price action is likely ahead in the cattle pit as traders wait on cash cattle trade signals. The beef market is off to a solid start, with Choice values up 73 cents and Select down 5 cents on strong movement of 174 loads. Traders are watching for signs the beef market is working on a slow as retailers are thought to begin buying for grilling season.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are called to start the day mixed, with pressure limited by ideas the cash market is near a low. But with packers' profit margins still in the red, upside potential in futures will be limited to short-covering. Demand for hogs is still lackluster. Pork cutout values softened 2 cents yesterday.