Corn futures are narrowly mixed this morning amid a lack of fresh news.
- Corn futures have softened from earlier levels as buying interest dwindled due to a lack of fresh news. Nearby futures are posting fresh session lows ahead of the start of open-outcry trade.
- Gulf corn basis is steady to 2 cents higher for nearby delivery at 50 cents over March futures to reflect tight supplies and that export demand remains lackluster.
- March corn futures remain within the boundaries of last week's trading range, but are currently pivoting around $7.20,which is near the bottom of the trading range.
Most soybean futures are fractionally to 4 cents lower, although far-deferred futures are slightly higher.
- Soybean futures have softened from earlier levels amid a lack of fresh buying interest despite concerns about dry conditions in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
- Traders are also ignoring news that China has purchased 220,000 MT of U.S. soybean for 2013-14.
- Outside markets are a mixed bag with crude oil slightly higher but the U.S. dollar index also posting gains.
Chicago wheat is narrowly mixed, with Kansas City and Minneapolis futures mostly weaker.
- Wheat futures are seeing light spillover from neighboring pits, with pressure limited by indications Russia's exportable grain supply has tightened considerably.
- A Russian marketing institute says the country's 2012-13 grain exports stand at 13.87 MMT, with wheat accounting for more than 10 MMT of that total and wheat exports have slowed due to tight domestic supplies.
- Traders are also noting drought concerns in the U.S. Southern Plains, although this is taking a backburner for now since the crop remains in dormancy.
Live cattle futures are called to open higher in reaction to Friday's bullish Cattle on Feed Report.
- Cattle futures are called to start the week higher -- potentially sharply higher -- as traders factor in Friday's Cattle on Feed Report that showed On Feed at 94%, Placements at 99% and Marketings at 98% of year-ago levels.
- Also supportive is news United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the U.S. and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that pave the way for expanded exports of U.S. beef and beef products to Japan.
- But traders will also be keeping an eye on the boxed beef market after values softened sharply last week to suggest consumer resistance to higher prices.
- A stronger open would strongly suggest a near-term low has been posted and improve the technical situation of futures, which are slightly oversold ahead of this morning's open.
Lean hog futures are called to open steady to firmer on spillover from live cattle.
- The combination of tightening market-ready hog supplies and expected sharp gains in live cattle futures is expected to result in spillover in lean hog futures this morning.
- Poor road conditions across much of the central Corn Belt this morning makes for difficult travels and will slow movement of hogs today.
- As a result, the cash market is expected to be steady to firmer again today despite negative profit margins.