Corn futures have turned narrowly mixed after favoring a weaker tone earlier.
- March corn futures are pivoting around the psychologically important $7.00 level this morning, but are well off the earlier lows.
- Upside potential is being limited to short-covering as traders note there's little fresh demand news and Gulf basis is steady.
- Traders are still searching for the February low, which typically happens around mid-month.
Soybean futures are 3 to 4 cents higher on short-covering.
- Soybeans are firmer on ideas recent losses were overdone, as well as from slight weakness in the dollar index.
- But upside potential is being limited to corrective buying as traders don't anticipate any fresh demand news from China this week as the country celebrates its new year.
- A few light showers are developing in the forecast for Argentina later this week, with an increase in shower activity expected in southern Brazil.
- March soybean futures are trading within the lower half of yesterday's trading range.
Chicago and Minneapolis wheat futures are mostly around 1 cent lower, with Kansas City favoring a firmer tone in mixed trade.
- Wheat futures have come off session lows due to mild short-covering.
- A wintry mix of precip is falling across Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, but missed western Kansas. Forecasters say the forecast for the remainder of the week is dry.
- ABARES mildly raised its estimate of the 2012-13 Australian wheat crop to 22.077 MMT, but that's down from last year's record of 29.9 MMT. ABARES left its wheat export forecast unchanged at 20.9 MMT.
Live cattle futures are called to open mixed as traders watch for cash clues.
- Choice boxed beef values improved 60 cents and Select was down 47 cents on light movement of 137 loads on Monday. This week's showlist is tighter than last week, which gives feedlots more bargaining power.
- But upside potential will be limited as nearby live cattle futures are trading at a premium to last week's $125 cash cattle trade.
- A mix of precip is moving across Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle this morning, which is mildly supportive for cattle futures are traders view it as stressful to animals.
- Feeder cattle could be supported by weakness in the corn market and the fact futures are oversold according to the 9-day Relative Strength Index.
Lean hog futures are expected to see a mixed start amid spreading.
- The cash hog market is called steady to $1 lower due to lackluster demand for cash hogs as packers work to improve profit margins.
- Packers' margins remain deep in the red and weren't aided yesterday by a 52-cent decline in pork cutout values, which also raises concerns about pork demand.
- But pressure on nearby contacts should be limited by the discount they hold to the cash index. February lean hog futures expire on Thursday.