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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:
Corn: 1 to 3 cents higher. Corn is seeing spillover from soybeans and weakness in the U.S. dollar. The market is also benefiting from followthrough after yesterday's high-range close. Soybeans have turned up the heat on the bid for acres, with traders confident 94 million acres have been secured. This limits upside potential, although strong demand has tightened old-crop supplies.
Soybeans: 5 to 7 cents higher. Technical chart improvement is building on itself, as March beans returned above $13.00 overnight. The contract completed a 50% retracement of the decline from the August high yesterday, opening fresh upside potential. While it could be difficult for soybeans to gain acres from the Midwest, traders believe beans are gaining momentum for southern acres.
Wheat: 6 to 8 cents higher. Wheat saw followthrough from yesterday's high-range close overnight, as well as help from neighboring pits and a weaker U.S. Dollar index. Yesterday's end-of-the-month crop condition ratings showed slight improvement in the HRW wheat crop in February thanks to more beneficial rains, but ratings still suggest timely moisture is needed this spring to sustain the crop.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures slipped yesterday amid profit-taking, as traders went against a bullish Cattle on Feed Report and took profits. More of the same is possible today, although record Choice beef values should limit pressure and could result in a choppy start. Choice beef values rose to $198.56 per cwt. yesterday, but traders are concerned that slowing movement signals high prices are facing resistance.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. The pork cutout value was 13 cents lower Monday and packers moved only 26.25 loads of product for the day. Given the struggles of the pork market and packers' negative profit margins, traders are growing tired waiting on a seasonal push by retailers to place products for Easter. Some improvement in the cash market, however, is possible today due to the arrival of a storm in the western and Upper Midwest.