Corn futures are fractionally to 3 cents lower, with old-crop contracts leading to the downside.
- A stronger U.S. dollar index and spreading versus the sharply higher soybean futures prompted a wave of profit-taking at the open of day trading. Prices remain lower but early losses have been trimmed.
- A wave of rains in dry areas of southern Brazil over the weekend pressured prices at the open as the moisture could lead to increased safrinha corn plantings.
- March corn futures are testing the $4.50 level, which has acted as both support and resistance in recent sessions. The $4.45 area area provided support in early trading.
- Weekly export inspections came in at 791,947 MT, down 51,393 MT from last week but within pre-report expectations.
- Gulf corn basis is steady at midday.
Old-crop soybean futures are 10 to 12 cents higher while new-crop futures are 4 to 8 cents higher.
- Soybean futures continue to hold strong gains on shipping delays in Brazil, strong exports and technical buying.
- March futures leaped through resistance at the September high this morning, which triggered buy stops. Followthrough buying has continued and soybean bulls are now targeting psychologically significant resistance at $14.00.
- Traders started the week with an optimistic view on exports and today's weekly export inspections from USDA confirmed that optimism. The figure met expectations at a strong 1,270,993 MT, but were down 213,537 MT from the previous week.
- However, shipping delays out of Brazilian are delaying the flow of that country's soybeans in global trade, which continues to delay the widely anticipated cancellation of U.S. soybean purchases by China.
- Traders continue to brush off rains that occurred across Brazil over the weekend and forecasts calling for more this week as these also slow harvest and shipping. A large crop is already priced in as shipping delays trump harvest projections.
- Soybean meal futures have moved to contract highs.
- Gulf soybean basis is steady at midday.
Wheat futures contracts, with the exception of March HRS, are 2 to 7 cents higher.
- Wheat futures have moved back to the plus side after an early wave of profit-taking prompted by the stronger U.S. dollar index.
- Today's weekly export inspections report came within expectations at 427,239 MT, up 120,532 MT from the week prior.
- Traders moved back to the positive on forecasts of continuing cold temps and generally dry weather for the Southern Plains, which raises concerns of crop damage.
- Light support also stems from additional forecasts that this year's logistic problems in Canada will cause producers to reduce their wheat acreage next season.
- Gulf SRW wheat basis is steady for immediate to May delivery at midday while June and July delivery periods are 3 cents higher.
Live cattle futures are mixed with the nearby February up slightly and the April through October contracts steady to slightly lower for the most part.
- Futures are favoring the negative side in followthrough to Friday's bearish Cattle on Feed Report.
- However, some of that bearishness is being trimmed by a positive read for Friday's Cold Storage Report that showed a larger-than-expected drop in frozen beef stocks last month.
- The boxed beef market is providing some support this morning with Choice boxed beef up $2.03 and Select up $2.28. Movement is a slow 72 loads, however.
- The front-month February contract is trading in line with the upper end of last week's $144 to $145 cash cattle trade in the Southern Plains. Nebraska saw trade at $146 to $148 last week. The April contract is well below the low end of these prices.
- Feeder cattle futures continue to trade narrowly mixed in light trade, with the mixed trade in live cattle futures and weaker corn market setting the tone. The front-month contract is trading in line with the cash index.
Lean hog futures are choppy but favoring the plus side.
- The April lean hog contract continues to trade higher after gapping higher on the open, driven by the bullish technical picture, which features several upside gaps. A few traders point to the obvious -- that the market is heavily overbought.
- Some traders are finding negative news in Friday's Cold Storage Report that showed more product in storage than expected. The heavier supplies are being explained by heavier hog weights.
- Cash hog bids are steady to higher today as improving pork prices and still-positive packer profit margins are keeping demand strong.
- Pork cutout values rose another 98 cents this morning, but movement is light at 147.13 loads.