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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:
Corn: 1 to 2 cents higher. Corn futures fell into yesterday's close despite news of fresh demand and corn sales to China. Declining on positive news signals traders are more focused on the prospects for a large 2012 crop. Overnight, gains were limited to light short-covering. It will be interesting to see how the market responds to this morning's weekly export sales report.
Soybeans: Mixed. Futures are choppy this morning, with new-crop under pressure amid profit-taking. Continued concerns about a disappointing South American crop remain in the market, which raises export prospects. This morning's weekly sales report will provide fresh news for the market and a strong sales tally would keep futures pointed up.
Wheat: 2 to 3 cents higher. Futures were lifted overnight by short-covering and light spillover from the corn pit. But overall, attitudes are negative given expectations for a plentiful global crop. As a result, U.S. wheat must remain at a level that is competitive on the global market.
Live cattle: Steady to firmer. Futures are called steady to firmer as the market continues to recover from Tuesday's sharp slide on fears BSE would hurt demand. But with limited impact from our trading partners, traders view the downside as overdone. Beef values were firmer again yesterday on solid movement of 176 loads, with Choice values returning above $190-per-cwt. Cash cattle trade could get underway in earnest today, with most expecting near-steady trade with last week.
Lean Hogs: Steady to weaker. Futures are expected to see pressure from the pork cutout market, which declined 75 cents yesterday. Movement was decent at 82.75 loads, but with packers' profit margins slipping deeper into the red, the cash hog market will be steady to weaker again today. That's negative for lean hog futures, and with May hogs trading at around a $5 premium to the cash index, it opens fresh downside risk as traders will soon be working on narrow the spread.