Corn futures are mixed, with the September through March contracts mildly firmer.
- After favoring the downside overnight, corn futures have firmed to a mixed tone. Much of the support is coming on spillover from wheat.
- Traders are also concerned with supplies amid the negative impact from drought. While rains have picked up recently, they are too late to help a severely damaged crop, although it could still add test weight in some of the better areas.
- Gulf corn basis is firmer this morning, with bids 2 to 6 cents higher.
Soybean futures are 7 to 12 cents higher, which is a slight extension from earlier gains.
- While weather has improved, traders remain hesitant to sell as there has been no solid proof that current prices, although historically high, are slowing soybean use.
- Rains were heavier and more widespread than expected in Illinois and Indiana yesterday and overnight. This should help filling soybeans. Forecasts don't call for much precip near-term, but temps are expected to run below normal into the middle of next week.
- Gulf soybean basis is steady to firmer, signaling demand is solid and supplies are tight.
Wheat futures are trading mostly 8 to 15 cents higher at all three locations.
- There's continued talk about potential export restrictions from Russia and Ukraine despite indications from both governments those talks are not currently taking place.
- Traders are also concerned about building dryness in Western Australia and a sharp reduction in Argentine wheat acres due to dryness and government policy.
- On the demand side, South Korea bought 49,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. wheat and Taiwan purchased 94,250 MT of U.S. wheat.
- So far, mild strength in the U.S. dollar is being overshadowed by fundamental support.
Live cattle futures are called steady to lower. Feeder cattle are also expected to favor a weaker tone.
- Live cattle futures closed poorly Thursday, which is expected to lead to followthrough selling this morning.
- Traders will continue to even positions ahead of this afternoon's Cattle on Feed Report, which is expected to show On Feed at 100.7%, Placements at 91.4% and Marketings at 101.6% of year-ago levels.
- Traders are also waiting on cash cattle trade to develop in the Plains. Expectations are for cash trade to come in steady to firmer compared with last week's $119 to $120 trade, although active trade is not expected until this afternoon. If there's sharp pressure on cattle futures it could negatively impact cash trade.
- Feeder cattle closed low-range Thursday, which is expected to lead to followthrough selling, especially with corn futures favoring a mildly firmer tone in most contracts.
Lean hog futures are seen opening with a mixed tone this morning.
- Hog traders continue to fret about supplies amid expectations high feed prices will lead to more herd liquidation as hog numbers build seasonally. This will limit buying interest.
- Mild support could come from the sharp discount futures hold to the cash index.
- Cash hog bids are called steady to lower across the Midwest as market-ready supplies are abundant. Most plants are bought ahead on kill needs well into next week.