The U.S. stock market is closed today, the CME Group closed its stock market futures and options trade at 8:15 a.m. CT and the bond market is closing at 11 a.m. CT -- all due to Hurricane Sandy. Pit trading at the NYMEX is also closed today, although electronic trading on the exchange is open. Closure of Federal government offices on the East Coast also means USDA's weekly export inspections and crop progress data will not be released today.
Corn futures are have trimmed earlier gains to trade 1 to 3 cents higher.
- Corn futures are firmer on short-covering, but given the lack of fresh news, price action could turn choppy.
- Strength in the U.S. dollar index and weakness in soybean futures is limiting buying interest in the corn market.
- Gulf corn basis is steady this morning, indicating little export movement.
Nearby soybean futures are 12 to 16 cents lower on weekend rains in Brazil.
- Nearby soybean futures are leading losses in reaction to weekend rains in drier areas of Brazil and forecasts for more precip this week.
- Strength in the U.S. dollar index is also weighing on soybean futures this morning.
- Meanwhile, China's state-run Xinhua news agency says according to its Ministry of Agriculture, China will import a record 57.5 MMT of soybeans this year.
Wheat futures are slightly higher at all three exchanges.
- Chicago and Kansas City wheat are mostly 2 to 4 cents higher, with Minneapolis 3 to 5 cents higher.
- Wheat is seeing spillover support from the corn market, although weakness in the soybean market and a firmer dollar are limiting gains.
- There's little fresh news for the wheat market to trade, although traders suspect demand for U.S. wheat is on the rise given tightening supplies in the Black Sea region.
Live cattle futures are called to open weaker on concerns about beef demand.
- Live cattle futures are called weaker this morning as traders expect Hurricane Sandy to have an impact on meat demand along the East Coast.
- Additional pressure is expected from Friday's sharp drop in boxed beef values, as Choice cuts were down $2.55 and Select was down $2.85. Traders say this signals boxed beef values have likely secured a top after posting an all-time high earlier last week.
- Slight strength in the corn market is also expected to weigh on feeder cattle futures.
Lean hog futures are called weaker on softer packer demand.
- Lean hog futures are expected to open weaker as traders expect Hurricane Sandy to interfere with pork demand along the East Coast.
- The pork cutout value slipped 50 cents on Friday, which provides more evidence of a near-term high being in place.
- The cash hog market is called steady to mostly $1 lower amid reduced demand for hogs as packers work to improve profit margins.