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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:
Corn: Mixed. Futures were mostly a penny higher overnight, but were choppy. The lack of fresh news kept March corn in the boundaries of the recent trading range between $6.16 and $5.80 (resistance and support, respectively). The U.S. dollar index is weaker as I write, but was choppy overnight. Traders will be keeping a close eye on outside markets and the euro-zone situation. Morgan Stanley has lowered its average corn price projection to $6.60 in 2011-12 and $5.75 in 2012-13;
Soybeans: 1 to 3 cents higher. Futures were firmer overnight to build on yesterday's high-range close. But contracts have a lot of work to do in order to turn the technical situation around. It's somewhat yesterday's spike below $11.00 in January beans attracted buyers, but it will take continue buying to secure a near-term low. Morgan Stanley has lowered its soybean average price projection to $12.70 in 2012-13.
Wheat: 2 to 6 cents higher. Futures were firmer overnight on help from dollar weakness. However, futures need fresh demand news or spillover from neighboring pits to secure a near-term low. This morning, results of Egypt's wheat tender should be released -- likely to remind the market U.S. wheat is not competitively on the global market. Morgan Stanley has lowered its wheat average price projection to $6.70 a in 2011-12 and $6.30 in 2012-13.
Live cattle: Steady to firmer. Futures should see a boost from the strong start to the week in the beef market. Choice beef values rose $4.12 and Select was up 30 cents on strong movement to start the week at 193 loads. However, this week's showlist is up slightly from last week, reducing feedlots' bargaining power. Cash trade isn't expected until later in the week. Futures are also expected to see spillover from strength in the U.S. stock market.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a choppy start following yesterday's mixed trade. Pork cutout values started the week 47 cents lower, but packers' profit margins remain well in the black. Packer demand for hogs remains strong, but plentiful supplies keep them from raising bids. Cash bids are called steady to weaker again this morning, but some sources say bids could firm as a larger Saturday kill is expected.