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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:35 a.m. CT:
Corn: Mixed. Futures are favoring a weaker tone in mixed trade, with pressure being limited by sharp pressure in the U.S. dollar index. The dollar was higher earlier, but softened dramatically to help stabilize the grain markets. Corn futures are pivoting around unchanged, which in many cases, means violating support at last week's lows as corn posted a very poor performance last week. Even though some fresh demand news has surfaced, traders believe it will take lower prices to rebuild demand. And, traders are preparing for a much larger 2013 crop, which is weighing on new-crop futures.
Soybeans: 2 to 6 cents higher. Futures saw initial followthrough pressure from Friday's losses, but have firmed amid dollar weakness and ongoing strong demand. Also limiting gains were weekend rains across Argentina. May beans are pivoting around $14.50 this morning, which is a pivotal level for the contract. A close above this level would signal bulls remain in charge of the market, while a close below it would signal this is becoming a tough level to remain above.
Wheat: 3 to 4 cents lower. Chicago and Kansas City wheat are weaker, while Minneapolis is mixed. Kansas City futures are seeing pressure from forecasts for more precip this week, while weakness in the dollar index is limiting pressure. Recent improvements to demand are being noted, although traders say they want to see the pick up in demand continue before they rebuild long positions.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are called mixed in reaction to Friday's Cattle on Feed Report, which shows On Feed within expectation. The Marketings and Placement figures both came in above expectations, which could lead to some bull spreading. But with On Feed within expectations, traders will shift their focus back to demand and keep an close eye on the boxed beef market.
Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a choppy start, with pressure limited by the sharply oversold condition of the market. Friday's Cold Storage Report came in about as expected, which will turn focus to the cash market. Pork cutout values slipped 21 cents on Friday but packers' profit margins improved dramatically last week which has some wondering if demand for cash hogs will improve this week. Early expectations are for steady to weaker bids.