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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade (as of 6:10 a.m. CT) and opening livestock calls:
Corn: 10 to 13 cents higher. September corn futures posted a new all-time high for a front-month contract of $8.11 1/2 overnight on the weekly continuation chart. This comes amid heightened coverage of the drought situation across the country. With no meaningful rain in site, traders are looking for a price that adequately rations demand.
Soybeans: 20- to 30-plus cents higher. August soybean futures posted a new all-time high for a front-month contract of $17.21 3/4 overnight on the weekly continuation chart. This morning's weekly export sales report will show if prices are doing their job of rationing remaining supplies, which is key as we head into the key August pod-filling stage in very dry conditions.
Wheat: 6 to 16 cents higher. September Chicago wheat futures posted a new-for-the-move high of $9.21 1/4 overnight on spillover from neighboring pits, as well as global crop concerns. Contract-high resistance stands at $9.63 1/4. Wheat will continue as a follower of corn, but has recently stepped up its gains as some perceive wheat as a value buy since it remains below contract high and is around $4 lower than the all-time high for a front-month contract.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures were sharply to limit higher yesterday on talk Japan is closer to approving beef imports from the U.S. from animals 30-month or younger, which would be a change from the 20-month rule and open up the market significantly. Futures need to see followthrough buying this morning to signal a near-term low has been posted, but with August trading at around a $5 premium to this week's lower cash cattle trade, upside potential could be more difficult to generate -- leading to choppy trade.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are called mixed, with pressure on deferred futures likely to be limited on concerns that high grain prices are altering producers' farrowing plans. Meanwhile, the cash hog market is called steady to $1 lower as packers work to further improve profit margins. Pork cutout values are showing signs they have bottomed, as prices have returned above $90-per-cwt.