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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:30 a.m. CT:
Corn: 5 to 8 cents higher. Corn is largely benefiting from spillover from soybeans, as well as help from weakness in the dollar index. But other than acknowledgement of tight supplies, there's little fresh news for corn to digest this morning. Futures started the overnight session under pressure but have posted a sharp correction to move to a fresh monthly high. A high-range close for the day would produce a bullish reversal, which would be a positive technical signal.
Soybeans: 16 to 21 cents higher. Futures are sharply higher this morning, led by commercial buying on concerns about hot and dry weather across Argentina and southern Brazil. Weakness in the dollar index is also creating a "risk-off" atmosphere. March soybean futures have further improved the near-term technical outlook by posting a fresh monthly high, making bulls' next target the December high of $15.01 1/4.
Wheat: 3 to 5 cents higher. Wheat is in a follower's role to neighboring pits this morning, but is also generating support from weakness in the dollar index. Portions of the Southern Plains HRW wheat region received some much-needed moisture from the winter storm moving across the heartland, but much more precip is needed. March Chicago wheat futures have yet to generate enough buying to move above yesterday's high of $7.85.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a choppy start, with some profit-taking possible after yesterday's losses and on weakness in the beef market. Choice beef values slipped 72 cents and Select declined $1.32 yesterday on decent movement of 170 loads. But pressure should be limited as traders view a near-term low as being posted and market-ready supplies have tightened. Winter weather should also help to support the market this morning.
Lean hogs: Steady to firmer. Futures are expected to see a lift this morning from winter weather which is slowing movement of animals, as well as from strength in the pork market. Pork values improved 95 cents yesterday to lift packers' profit margins close to breakeven. Cash bids will be steady to higher today, but movement will be very light, with packers buying to complete this week's kill when the weather improves.