Corn futures are now trading mostly 2 to 5 cents lower.
- The corrective buying seen in the corn market earlier today has dissipated and sellers have taken control again as traders continue to react to last Thursday's bearish March 1 stocks figure from USDA.
- Asian feed buyers are increasing their purchases, suggesting the sharp price drop the past two sessions was enough to trigger some demand. But most of the purchases are likely to be of South American origin. Tight supplies and a strong cash market continue to limit demand for U.S. corn.
- A firmer U.S. dollar is weighing on futures today and is not aiding demand for U.S. corn.
Old-crop soybeans are mostly 1 to 2 cents lower. New-crop contracts are now mostly 3 to 6 cents lower.
- On the lead from soyoil this morning, soybean futures softened and have not been able to recover. The drop below unchanged in corn also dried up buying interest in soybeans.
- While there's still lots of congestion at Brazilian ports, demand for U.S. soybeans is expected to wane seasonally as South American supplies move more freely onto the world market, which is helping pressure old-crop soybean futures and making it harder to spur buying interest in soybeans.
- New-crop beans are under pressure as production is expected to rebound in 2013. Plus, some traders feel USDA underestimated planted soybean acres in its March survey.
Wheat futures have trimmed gains, with Chicago contracts now mostly 4 to 7 cents higher, Kansas City wheat 1 to 4 cents higher in most contracts and Minneapolis wheat 4 to 10 cents higher.
- Wheat futures continue to benefit from short-covering on ideas the downside has been overdone. But the corrective buying has eased as corn has softened and fresh demand news is limited.
- The drop in the HRW and SRW ratings on our weighted Crop Condition Index also remains a source of support. But that support is limited by a wave of heavy rains moving across parts of the Southern Plains today. Still, timely spring rains are needed amid ongoing drought across much of the region.
- A firmer U.S. dollar index is also limiting buying interest in wheat today. While U.S. wheat is currently competitively priced, a firming dollar could reduce that advantage.
Live cattle futures are now fully lower as early buying interest as faded. Feeder cattle futures are moderately lower.
- Live cattle futures are facing profit-taking pressure as traders take a wait-and-see approach toward cash cattle trade.
- Showlist supplies are up from week-ago and demand concerns continue to linger, causing traders to question whether packers will raise cash cattle bids again this week after paying as much as $4 higher prices for cattle in the Plains last week.
- Morning boxed beef trade showed $1-plus gains in Choice and Select boxes, but movement was notably light at just 70 total loads. Boxed beef movement likely needs to improve to get packers to raise cash cattle bids from last week.
- Feeder cattle futures are facing some profit-taking today following three straight days of strong price gains. But weakening corn futures should limit selling interest.
Lean hog futures are mixed at midday, with the April contract mildly lower and most deferred months slightly to moderately firmer.
- The $5-plus premium April lean hog futures hold to the cash index with less than two weeks until contract expiration is limiting buying interest in the lead-month contract.
- Deferred futures are being supported by short-covering as the market works to rebound from the sharp selloff this winter.
- Cash hog bids are steady to $1 firmer across the Midwest amid tightening supplies and increased packer demand. But traders wonder how long the cash strength will persist if the product market doesn't strengthen as packer margins are tight.
- Pork's relative cheap price compared to beef should boost spring features, but some demand concerns continue to hang over the market.