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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade (as of 6:45 a.m. CT) and opening livestock calls:
Corn: 1 to 5 cents higher. Futures are seeing spillover from sharp gains in the soybean market as there's little other fresh news for the market to digest. Outside markets are choppy this morning, as the U.S. dollar index and gold are firmer. Without fresh news, corn is in a follower's role and this morning soybeans are leading the way.
Soybeans: 15 to 20 cents higher. Futures are being supported this morning by talk China has been buying U.S. beans as well as from positive Chinese economic data that suggests its economy is improving. As a result, January soybean futures are back near the top of the month-long consolidation range.
Wheat: 4 to 6 cents higher. Wheat is seeing spillover from neighboring pits as well as concern about the winter wheat crop. Yesterday's first condition ratings of the year show the crop in worse shape than last year and our weighted Crop Condition Index shows the HRW crop is down 19 points from year-ago while SRW is up 14 points from year-ago.
Live cattle: Lower. Futures are called to open lower based on weakness in the boxed beef market. Choice beef values slipped $3.40 and Select declined $1.23 yesterday, but movement improved to 228 loads. Cash cattle trade has largely been seen between $126 and $127, which is steady to $1 lower with last week. Cash cattle trade is not complete for the week, but weakness in the beef market favors bears.
Lean hogs: Steady to firmer. Futures are expected to see a lift from yesterday's 99-cent increase in pork cutout values. Movement was also strong at 75.75 loads, which has eased concerns the massive East Coast storm hasn't had a dramatic impact on pork demand. Additionally, the cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady today as some plants in the eastern Corn Belt are in need of additional supplies for a large Saturday kill to make up for a slow start to the week.