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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:
Corn: 2 to 5 cents higher. Futures enjoyed short-covering overnight to avoid doing any technical chart damage after yesterday's bearish reversal. Key today is for the market to avoid slipping through support at yesterday's lows, as it could trigger sell stops. Focus in the market is on position squaring ahead of Friday's key acreage and grain stocks reports. Traders are hesitant to aggressively add long positions ahead of the report as they expect it to reflect large gains in prospective corn acreage.
Soybeans: 3 to 7 cents higher. Futures were supported overnight by ongoing concerns about the South American crop, as dryness in the northeast crop district is being watched. Traders are also hopeful China will continue to be a large buyer of U.S. soybeans. Traders expect Friday's acreage report to show acreage up about 500,000 acres from 2011, although where those acreage gains comes from is key. If they are mostly in fringe growing areas, traders won't be as hopeful about yield prospects.
Wheat: Mixed. Futures favored a firmer tone overnight, but were choppy. Gains were limited to spillover from neighboring pits due to improvement in winter wheat conditions in the Southern Plains. Last week's rains resulted in improvement in the crop in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, but more rains are needed through the growing season. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning, but so are crude oil and gold futures.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures faded a slightly negative Cattle on Feed Report yesterday and firmed amid short-covering and ideas supplies will be tightening. The beef market got off to a lackluster start, with prices softer and movement moderate. And with this week's showlist up slightly after all of last week's supplies were not sold, the prospect for higher cash cattle trade is not likely.
Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed amid spreading, with upside potential limited by concerns about the cash hog market. The pork cutout value rose a modest 15 cents yesterday and given sharply negative profit margins, much more strength in the pork cutout market is needed to firm the cash hog market. Pork plants are well bought ahead on slaughter needs for the week.