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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade (as of 6:20 a.m. CT) and opening livestock calls:
Corn: 1 to 2 cents lower. Traders reacted negatively to USDA's unchanged carryover estimate yesterday, although supplies remain tight and they were expecting an increase in carryover due to lackluster export demand. The reason is the holiday doldrums have set in. Traders are also keeping a watchful eye on fiscal cliff negotiations and await today's Federal Reserve policy-setting statement.
Soybeans: 7 to 9 cents lower. Soybeans ended mid-range yesterday but are now pivoting around yesterday's low. Traders were disappointed that USDA didn't raise its export projection yesterday, although it did raise crush to trim carryover by 10 million bu. from last month. Concerns about outside markets ahead of the Fed's policy-setting statement has traders cautious this morning about adding risk.
Wheat: 1 to 2 cents lower. Following yesterday's sharp losses on USDA's surprising 50-million-bu. increase in carryover, wheat is seeing just light followthrough pressure. But buying is being limited after futures did some technical chart damage yesterday. March Chicago wheat has slipped to its lowest level since early July to extend the decline from the August high.
Live cattle: Mixed. Following yesterday's sharp gains, live cattle are expected to be mixed as traders reevaluate positions. But strong gains in futures have raised feedlots hope a near-term cash low is in place. Adding to cash optimism is the strong start to the beef market for the week. Yesterday, Choice values rose $2.12 and Select was up $1.74 on strong movement of 189 loads.
Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed today as traders keep an eye on outside markets. Pork cutout values slipped a penny yesterday, but movement was very strong at 148.5 loads. Packers' profit margins have improved, but packers say they are having no difficulty securing supplies. Therefore, steady to lower bids are expected again this morning. Yesterday, February lean hog futures filled in last week's gap area, but still have some work to do in order to signal a near-term low has been secured.