Grains Choppy Overnight Amid Position Squaring

December 22, 2011 12:16 AM

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

Corn: Steady to 1 cent lower. Futures were choppy overnight, but are currently weaker amid light profit-taking. The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning, but buying in the corn pit is being limited as traders wait for this morning's weekly export sales data. The report is expected to show sales near week-ago levels.

Soybeans: Mixed. Futures were choppy overnight following five consecutive days of price gains. This serves as a reminder it's more important where a market closes than begins. Therefore, key will be if traders view the early choppyness as a buying opportunity or not. Rains across Argentina were a disappointment and there's little more in the near-term forecast for all of South America. Rising temps are adding stress to the crop.

Wheat: 1 to 3 cents lower. Futures were lackluster overnight, with March Chicago wheat pivoting around yesterday's high. Some profit-taking is featured in other contracts, but overall, wheat remains in a follower's role and has been pulled higher by neighboring pits so far this week.

Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed as traders wait on cash trade to begin. Packers are bidding $117 for cattle and feedlots are asking $122 to $123, signaling cash cattle trade could be delayed until tomorrow. Boxed beef prices were mixed yesterday on strong movement of 283 loads.

Lean Hogs: Steady to lower. Futures are expected to be weaker this morning on continued cash softness. Pork cutout values slipped 18 cents yesterday and packers say they largely have next week's needs secured. Packers have seen profit margins tighten this week, reducing the urgency for them to bid up for hogs. However, traders look for this afternoon's Cold Storage Report to show stocks tightened last month due to strong demand, which should limit pressure.


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