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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:20 a.m. CT:
Corn: 1 to 3 cents lower. I'll be the first to admit it... waiting for today's 11:00 a.m. CT reports has turned this into one long week of price action. With little other fresh news to digest besides a dismal weekly export sales report, focus has been on even positions all week long! It doesn't matter that I don't like the later time for the release for the reports, but given the fact it's a Friday, the markets will have "just" three hours to digest today's data before it closes. With that said, traders have developed a "wait and see" attitude this morning with prices holding within this week's trading range.
Soybeans: 10 to 13 cents lower. Futures are weaker this morning as traders even positions ahead of this morning's USDA reports. Futures are also seeing some followthrough from yesterday's losses, but no technical chart damage has been done as support at this week's lows is being respected. As I noted above, price action the remaining three hours of the trading day could be highly volatile as traders swiftly work to factor in USDA's data.
Wheat: Mixed. Wheat is mixed, with nearbys firmer amid short-covering this morning. Some indications U.S. prices are competitive on the global market are helping to lift nearby futures, as Egypt included U.S. wheat in a tender yesterday. Otherwise, there's little fresh news for the market to digest and traders are focused on evening positions.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to be choppy as traders wait on active cash cattle trade to develop. Only light trade has been reported at mostly steady prices with last week's $128 trade. Boxed beef prices were firmer yesterday, but movement slowed to 169 loads.
Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are called mixed as February hog futures are now trading in line with the cash index. With packers' profit margins in the red, there is more near-term downside risk for futures. The cash market is called steady to lower, which could weigh on futures.