Corn futures have softened further to trade 2 to 4 cents lower.
- Bull spread unwinding is being seen this morning as March corn is leading losses.
- A firmer U.S. dollar index is also encouraging mild profit-taking in corn futures following yesterday's gains.
- Traders are also evening positions ahead of Friday's USDA reports, in which they expect carryover to rise by around 17 million bu. from last month.
- Gulf corn basis is 1 cent softer for immediate delivery, steady for April delivery and up 2 cents for May and June delivery.
Soybean futures are 1 to 6 cents lower on profit-taking amid a lack of fresh news.
- Lingering worries about shipping delays at Brazilian ports is limiting selling to light profit-taking, although recent moisture improvements across the Corn Belt are pressuring new-crop futures.
- The U.S. ag attache in Brazil has lowered its estimate of the country's soybean crop to 82.5 MMT, but says wait times at ports have reached 50 days and could read 60 days over the "next few months."
- Gulf soybean basis is steady this morning, signaling there's no fresh demand news on the immediate horizon.
- Traders are also working to even positions ahead of Friday's USDA reports, in which they expect carryover to be trimmed by around 3 million bu. to reflect the longer-than-usual window of opportunity for U.S. soybean exports.
Wheat futures are 3 to 6 cents lower at all three exchanges on improved Plains' moisture.
- Wheat remains in a follower's role and is seeing spillover from weakness in the corn market.
- Additional pressure comes from recent soil moisture improvements across the Plains, which are helping to improve HRW wheat crop prospects.
- A ministerial panel in India will discuss a proposal for an additional 5 MMT of wheat exports tomorrow.
- Meanwhile, Ukraine's ag minister says the country has exported 6.2 MMT of wheat this marketing year and will likely export another 500,000 MT before 2012-13 is complete.
Live cattle futures are called mixed on a combination of followthrough pressure from yesterday's losses and short-covering.
- Live cattle futures posted bearish reversals yesterday, putting more importance on today's price action. Followthrough pressure today would signal a near-term high has been posted, while a return of buyers would negate the bearish chart formation.
- Boxed beef prices continue to surge, but movement has slowed. Choice values rose $2.91 yesterday and Select was up $3.44, but only 159 loads changed hands.
- Traders are still waiting on packers to release initial bids, but general expectations are for $1 to $2 higher trade with last week's mostly $128 trade.
- Weakness in the corn market could trigger some short-covering in feeder cattle futures.
Lean hog futures are called mixed, with pressure limited by overdue short-covering.
- The bearish chart pattern continues to build on itself, with April lean hog futures posting a fresh contract low yesterday.
- There is more near-term downside risk given that April lean hog futures ended yesterday at around a $1 premium to the cash index.
- The pork cutout value slipped $1.79 yesterday to tighten packers' profit margins. But the good news is movement improved to 140.08 loads to signal pork has found "value."
- The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady today. Some packers are mildly short-bought following the winter storm but say they expect to have no difficulty securing this week's needs.