Corn futures are trading mostly 7 to 10 cents higher.
- Traders remain concerned with crop prospects amid persistent drought. Private crop forecasters continue to lower yield and production forecasts. Informa Economics will update its crop outlook this morning and is widely expected to further cut its forecast.
- Recent and upcoming rains will do little to help the corn crop. At most, the rains may help stabilize conditions. But the rains were not widespread enough to stop the overall deterioration of the crop and traders are anticipating another sizable downturn in crop condition ratings next Monday.
- Despite the crop concerns, corn futures are working on a lower weekly close for the first time since the drought-induced price surge started in mid-June.
Soybean futures are mostly 25 to 28 cents higher.
- Recent and upcoming rains are not seen as widespread or heavy enough to have a significant, positive impact on the crop. While the forecast signals more precip chances in the five-day outlook, rains are likely to remain scattered and light. Plus, some forecasters have turned drier for next week's outlook.
- Traders will closely monitor midday weather updates as they position themselves ahead of the weekend. The stance during the six-week price surge has been for traders to show no willingness to go home short.
- Informa Economics will update its crop outlook this morning and is widely expected to further cut its soybean crop estimate.
- Despite the crop concerns, soybean futures are working on a lower weekly close for the first time since the drought-induced price surge started in mid-June.
Wheat futures are extending to double-digit gains at all three locations.
- With the corn and soybean markets firmer, wheat futures are being boosted by spillover support this morning.
- Crop concerns in the Former Soviet Union remain supportive. Russia's national weather center cut its grain crop forecast to 77 million metric tons (MMT) to 80 MMT -- down 6 MMT on both ends of the range from its previous forecast.
- Scouts on the Wheat Quality Council HRS tour found above-average yield potential. Crop quality is also high and should boost demand for U.S. wheat, especially given some global crop concerns.
Live cattle futures are expected to open steady to lower. Feeder cattle futures are also seen opening with a weaker tone.
- Cash cattle trade got started at $114 in the Central and Southern Plains late Thursday. While up $1 from last week, that's a lower price than some were anticipating. Sales volume was light to moderate and feedlots with cattle left to sell are hoping to get at least $115 for those supplies.
- August live cattle futures ended Thursday at more than a $4 premium to the cash market. That's expected to weigh on nearby cattle futures this morning.
- Traders also have ongoing concerns about the impact of hot temps on demand.
- Feeder cattle futures will be pressured by strength in the corn market. Historically high feed prices are expected to cut demand for feeder cattle.
Lean hog futures are seen opening with a steady to firmer tone.
- After a strong close Thursday, lean hog futures are expected to see followthrough buying interest this morning.
- With the pork product market firming and packer margins improving, there's hope near-term cash hog bids will strengthen. But a modest break in temps will bring extra hogs to town and could slow expected cash gains.
- Traders are working to keep August hogs in line with the cash market as the contract expires in just over two weeks.
- Cash hog bids are expected to be steady at most Midwest locations, although mixed undertones are likely amid varied demand.