Corn futures have softened to trade mostly 5 to 7 cents lower at midday.
- There's a lack of buying interest in corn ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday as fresh news is lacking.
- The market broke its uptrend since mid-month today, which has also encouraged some technical-based selling.
- A record-large 2013 corn crop continues to limit the market's upside.
- The same can be said for favorable weather in South America.
- Basis levels at interior locations are reportedly strengthening amid slow farmer sales and strong ethanol demand.
Soybean futures are mostly 5 to 8 cents lower at midday.
- Position evening is underway ahead of a long holiday break from the markets for some.
- USDA's announcement of soybean sales cancellations of 300,000 MT to China for 2013-14 is getting a bit more attention than its announcement of daily soybean sales of 360,000 MT to an unknown destination for 2013-14.
- Favorable weather in Brazil and Argentina adds to the negative tone.
- But Gulf soybean basis firmed 4 cents for immediate delivery and 1 cent for December delivery at midday, signaling fresh demand news may lie ahead.
Winter wheat futures continue to see losses around 4 to 6 cents in most contracts, while HRS wheat is seeing slightly lighter losses.
- Spillover from the corn and soybean markets is weighing on wheat futures today.
- Also, USDA's reduction to its "good" to "excellent" rating for the winter wheat crop is not that concerning as the crop is entering dormancy with its best rating in years.
- Traders also remain hesitant to push wheat prices sharply higher as other rallies have slowed export demand for U.S. wheat.
- Gulf SRW wheat basis surged 10 cents for immediate delivery, possibly signaling exporters see low wheat prices as a bargain.
Live cattle futures have firmed to post moderate gains at midday. Feeder cattle futures are moderately to sharply higher.
- December live cattle futures have around a $1 premium built in relative to last week's price cash cattle trade at $131 in the Southern Plains.
- Traders are not overly concerned about heavier showlist estimates this week or negative packer profit margins.
- Traders are encouraged by Choice boxed beef values that are again above $200 per cwt. and improved movement this morning. Choice cuts fell 13 cents this morning, but Select firmed 43 cents and movement improved from yesterday morning to 100 loads.
- Short-covering ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday is also giving futures a lift. A weaker U.S. dollar index is also encouraging to that end.
- Weaker corn prices in combination with strength in live cattle are lifting feeder cattle.
Lean hog futures have improved to trade slightly higher in all but far-deferred months, which are under light pressure.
- Bull spreading activity is lifting nearby lean hog contracts.
- The pork cutout value fell 12 cents this morning, but movement surged to 308.34 loads.
- The market is also being supported by revisions to yesterday's hog purchase prices that reflected national gains.
- Nevertheless, the cash hog index continues to decline. It is currently more than $5 below the December contract.
- Uncertainty regarding the longer-term impact of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) continues to act as a floor beneath the hog market.