Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- August 21, 2012

08:43AM Aug 21, 2012

Corn futures are 5 to 8 cents higher on spillover from soybeans.

Corn futures are enjoying followthrough from yesterday's gains, as well as spillover from sharp gains in the soybean market and weakness in the U.S. dollar index.

The first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour confirmed poor crops in South Dakota and Ohio. Scouts will focus on reports from Indiana and Nebraska today.

Yesterday's crop condition report from USDA showed corn conditions have stabilized.

Soybean futures are 17 to 20-plus cents higher on stepped-up crop concerns.

The first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour showed crops in South Dakota and Ohio are more stressed than many expected. Traders will follow Tour findings through the day in Indiana and Nebraska, where more variability is expected.

Yesterday's crop condition report from USDA showed the bean crop improved as expected, with our weighted Crop Condition Index up 3 points to 276.29 (scale of 0 to 500 being perfect).

According to official Chinese customs data, the country's soybean imports in July of 5.87 million metric tons (MMT) were 10% higher than the previous year. For the first seven months of the year, soybean imports of 34.92 MMT were up 20% from the previous year.

Wheat futures are mostly 3 to 6 cents higher at all three exchanges on spillover from corn and soybeans.

Wheat is enjoying spillover from neighboring pits and help from a weaker U.S. dollar index.

However, there's little other fresh news for the market to digest, as traders are cautious on signs U.S. wheat prices are not competitive on the global market.

Live cattle futures are expected to be mixed, with feeder cattle lower on strength in the corn market.

Live cattle futures are called mixed as traders wait on direction from the cash market. Early expectations are for steady to possibly firmer cash trade later this week with last week's $120 to $121 trade.

The beef market started on solid footing, which should help to limit pressure on live cattle futures. Choice beef values were 82 cents higher and Select rose 53 cents to start the week on relatively decent movement of 109 loads.

Strength in the corn market is expected to weigh on feeder cattle futures, although tightening calf supplies should limit downside risk.

Lean hog futures are expected to be choppy on followthrough from yesterday's narrowly mixed close.

Lean hog futures are expected to mimic yesterday's choppy day of price action as traders reevaluate positions.

Pressure on futures should be limited by the large discount nearby contracts hold to the cash index.

But upside potential will be limited as packers' needs are largely secured this week. The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady, with some weaker undertones.