Corn futures have improved to post gains of 1 to 2 cents in most contracts.
- Corn futures have not strayed far from unchanged today as traders are reluctant to add long positions ahead of the weekend and next week's Thanksgiving holiday.
- Weakness in the U.S. dollar index is giving bulls a slight edge as they even positions. The same can be said for spillover from the soybean market.
- Signs of rebuilding corn export demand have been enough to limit selling, but they have not spurred active buying interest since the 2013 crop is expected to be record-large.
- Gulf corn basis is steady at midday.
Soybean futures continue to enjoy strong gains around 13 to 21 cents through the July contract with far deferred months mostly 5 to 9 cents higher.
- The January contract's move back above resistance at $13.00 is encouraging technical buying in the bean market as it could be an early signal the market is working on a harvest low.
- Reminders of strong demand for U.S. soybeans, especially from China, are also supportive.
- USDA announced a 115,000 MT soybean sale to China for 2013-14.
- Support also comes from news China's Ministry of Commerce has raised its soybean import forecast for November by 220,000 MT to 6.17 MMT.
- The market also has yesterday's strong weekly export sales tally in mind.
- Strong gains in soymeal futures amid spreading with soyoil are also supportive.
Wheat futures continue to enjoy gains around 3 to 5 cents in the winter wheat markets, while HRS wheat is steady to 3 cents higher.
- A weaker U.S. dollar index and gains in the corn and soybean markets are lifting wheat futures to wrap up the week.
- The market is also benefiting from news of late-season crop problems in Western Australia.
- Also, an early-season cold snap in the Northern Plains and snow and freezing rain in the Southern Plains raise some concern about the U.S. winter wheat crop.
- Gulf SRW wheat basis has firmed in recent sessions including this morning, which could signal more export business is ahead.
Live cattle futures have softened to post slight losses across the board, while feeder cattle futures are enjoying slight gains.
- Traders are favoring the downside as they even positions ahead of the Cattle on Feed Report (COF) and the weekend.
- Nearby futures are now in line with the top end of yesterday's cash cattle trade on the Southern Plains at $130 to $131, which was down $1 to $2 from the week prior.
- The COF Report is expected to show On Feed at 94.2%, Placements at 110% and Marketings at 101.5% of year-ago levels.
- The Cold Storage Report will also be released this afternoon. Traders expect it to show frozen beef stocks around 447.8 million lbs., up 4.4% from year-ago.
- This morning, Choice cuts slid 19 cents and Select firmed 40 cents. Sub-$200 per cwt. Choice boxed beef values spurred strong movement of 137 loads.
- Expectations for this afternoon's COF Report to remind of tight calf supplies are lifting feeder cattle futures. A weaker U.S. dollar index is also supportive.
Lean hog futures are posting slight to moderate losses at midday.
- Cash hog bids are steady to $2 lower today as market-ready hog supplies are easy to come by as hog weights and numbers are on the rise.
- In addition, packers are preparing for a holiday-shortened week.
- The cash hog index continues to fall; it currently holds more than a $3.50 discount to the December contract.
- But countering this are expectations this afternoon's Cold Storage Report will show frozen pork stocks at the end of October around 565.1 million lbs., which would be a 6.3% decrease from year-ago.
- The pork cutout value slipped another 5 cents this morning, but movement was decent at 186.29 loads.