Corn futures are mostly 3 to 5 cents weaker at midday.
- Futures opened slightly weaker on forecasts viewed as non-threatening for crop development despite the lack of rainfall this weekend in northern and western areas of the Corn Belt.
- There was light pressure early from news Japan's feedmillers are cementing deals for 300,000 MT of corn from Ukraine and Brazil for shipments in October through December.
- Further pressure developed on news weekly export inspections totaled only 8.867 million bu., which was down nearly 7.5 million bu. from last week and below traders' expectations.
- Traders look for this afternoon's Crop Condition Update will reflect a 1- to 2-percentage point decline from last week's 66% "good" to "excellent" rating due to last week's heat and dryness. Expectations are for USDA to report 40% of the crop had pollinated as of Sunday.
- Gulf basis is steady at midday except for a 1-cent decline for November delivery. But this morning's surge of 20 cents for immediate delivery has some traders thinking some export business is being booked.
- The last dip to the $5.00 area for new-crop corn was met with active end-user buying.
Soybean futures are up 22 to 28 cents for August and September and 8 to 14 cents for November and later futures contracts.
- Traders are pushing futures higher on rising concerns about the slow-developing soybean crop, as rains in Iowa over the weekend were disappointing.
- The market looks for soybean condition ratings to decline 1 to 2 percentage points from last week's 65% "good" to "excellent" rating in USDA's Weekly Crop Condition Report this afternoon.
- The forecast calls for cooler temps and precip this week, but precip amounts are expected to be light in the central and upper Midwest where crop development is the slowest.
- Weekly export inspections came in about as expected at 2.847 million bushels.
- Gulf soybean basis is steady at midday.
Wheat futures are posting losses of mostly 3 to 5 cents in Chicago, and 1 to 2 cents in Kansas City and Minneapolis.
- Spillover selling from corn futures and a stronger dollar are pressing wheat futures this morning.
- The light short covering that benefited Minneapolis wheat earlier has given away to the spillover from the other flavors and corn.
- Traders are concerned that U.S. wheat prices continue to remain above those of other global exporters, which means the U.S. is missing out on the pickup in global wheat demand.
- USDA says weekly exports inspections tallied 23.136 million bu., in line with trader expectations.
- Gulf basis is steady late morning.
Live cattle futures continue to see light, choppy trade with most contracts currently slightly lower. Feeder cattle futures are slightly to moderately higher.
- Traders are turning their attention back to the cash and beef markets and are looking for a seasonal low in both after the Cattle on Feed Report Friday showed On Feed and Placements figures in line with expectations.
- Cash cattle trade occurred at steady prices of mostly $119 in the Southern Plains Friday while trade was mostly 50 cents lower in Nebraska from $119.50 to $120.50 and the bulk at $120.00.
- Choice cuts slipped another 67 cents and Select fell $1.10 this morning on light movement of 74 loads.
- Traders also expect this afternoon's Cold Storage Report to show 474 million lbs. of beef stocks on hand June 30, a record-high level for the date.
- Feeder cattle futures are higher on the decline in corn futures.
Lean hog futures are slightly higher on light short-covering after a lower open.
- Buying interest remains limited to short-covering thanks to weakness in the wholesale market. The pork cutout value slipped another 70 cents this morning to $98.36 on a carcass basis while movement was a moderate 146.6 loads.
- Packers are less aggressive as they continue to cut in the red. Cash prices are steady to lower today as packers have already lined up slaughter needs through at least midweek.
- The market awaits this afternoon's Cold Storage Report from USDA, which is expected to show a modest reduction from May's level but still show record-large level of frozen pork stocks for June 30. Traders look for 626 million lbs. of frozen pork in storage.
- The front months are getting some lift as traders work to slice the discount between August futures and the cash hog index. That discount is under $4.50 this morning.