Corn futures are 1 to 2 cents lower in narrow trading.
- Corn futures are lower on disappointing weekly export sales. USDA reports weekly corn sales totaled only 593,600 MT for 2013-14, which were well under expectations.
- Traders also remain concerned China may reject additional cargoes of U.S. corn if they are found to contain an unapproved GMO trait.
- Also, China's state-run China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC) now places the nation's corn production at 217.51 MMT this year due to higher planted area and improved yields. That is an increase of 4.6% over year-ago and well above USDA's November projection of 211 MMT. CNGOIC forecasts 2013-14 Chinese corn consumption at 199.79 MMT, up 5.2% from 2012-13.
- Traders are shrugging off the weaker U.S. dollar index.
- Technical traders note futures failed to uncover any followthrough buying during the overnight session, which suggests hefty overhead resistance at yesterday's high of $4.40 on the March futures contract.
- Gulf corn basis is weaker in early morning trading with bids 3 cents lower for for December and January delivery, 4 cents lower for February delivery and 2 cents lower for March delivery. The weaker basis disappoints traders looking for lower prices to boost export demand.
Soybean futures are mostly 5 to 11 cents lower in early trading.
- Soybean futures are weaker on profit-taking after yesterday's gains failed to attract followthrough buying in the overnight session.
- The weaker dollar index and positive export sales news is not providing support, though those factors are helping limit selling.
- USDA reported weekly export soybean sales totaling 805,200 MT for 2013-14 and 355,600 MT for 2014-15, which was at the top end of pre-report expectations.
- USDA also announced a daily 110,000-MT soybean sale to China for 2014-15.
- But prospects of a record large South American crop is weighing on the market.
- Technically, March soybean futures are working on an inside day following yesterday's surge.
- Gulf soybean basis is steady in early morning trading with the exception of a penny gain noted for January delivery.
Wheat futures are lower on disappointing export sales with SRW wheat leading the decline with losses of 7 to 10 cents, HRW and HRS are mostly 4 to 7 cents lower.
- Disappointment over the very small weekly export sales figure from USDA this morning has wheat futures under pressure
- USDA reported weekly wheat export sales reached just 229,200 MT, which were well below expectations and a marketing-year low.
- The low figure raises traders' concerns that recent strength in the U.S. dollar index has priced U.S. wheat out of the global market, although the dollar is weaker today.
- Also pressuring wheat futures is news the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN raised its 2013-14 world wheat crop forecast by 2.3 MMT to 710.8 MMT.
- Gulf SRW basis is steady in early morning trading.
Live cattle futures are weaker while feeder cattle futures are slightly higher.
- Live cattle futures are lower as traders continue to wait on cash cattle trade to begin. But expectations prices will come steady to firmer compared with last week's $132 trade in the Southern Plains is limiting selling interest.
- Cash sources indicate packers are bidding $129 per cwt. while feedlots are asking $134 to $135.
- Wholesale beef market is providing some support as Choice boxed beef rose 30 cents yesterday and Select rose 9 cents on moderate movement of 155 loads.
- Feeder cattle futures are mildly firmer on the setback in corn futures, though weakness in live cattle is limited gains.
Lean hog futures are slightly to moderately weaker.
- Lean hog futures are again under pressure as traders work to align futures with the cash index. December is leading declines for that reason and that contract and the index are now in close alignment as a result.
- Futures are also on the defensive as funds liquidate long positions.
- Cash hog bids are steady at most Midwest locations. Wintry weather has moved into the Midwest and could slow hog movement the remainder of the week.
- USDA reports the pork cutout value fell $1.24 yesterday but the decline in prices prompted a surge in sales with movement listed at 506.42 loads.