Corn futures are trading lower at midday. Basis levels are firm which is supportive to nearby futures. Farmer selling interest is light as they prepare for planting. On the other hand new-crop December and more deferred contracts are lower as the market anticipates a large increase in corn acreage. Still, new-crop prices are finding some underlying support by weather forecasts for next week calling for much cooler temperatures and the possibility of freezing temperatures next week as far south as the Ohio Valley. May corn is 2 1/2 cents lower at $6.55 3/4 and December is 3 cents lower at $5.42 1/2.
Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. The soybean market opened lower. Sharp losses in outside markets such as gold and crude oil associated with new worries about Europe pressured prices lower. But price setbacks continue to be viewed as buying opportunities due to the reports out of South America that those soybean crops may be even worse performers than previously suspected. Prices rallied into midsession. The May contract is 3 1/2 cents higher at $14.20 1/4 and November is 2 3/4 cents higher at $13.81 1/2.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midday Wednesday. Much improved crop condition ratings compared to last year and more welcome rain in dry areas of the Plains continue to weigh on futures. Some rain relief in dry areas of Europe are adding to negative sentiment, although some European officials say winterkill is worse than expected. MGE futures are down the least, still getting some residual support from lower-than-expected planting intentions for spring wheat. Adding to price pressure, the outside markets are all negative for commodities in general. Gold and crude oil futures are both down hard; the DJIA is down hard, and the U.S. dollar is stronger. CBOT May is 14 cents lower at $6.44, KCBT May is 13 cents lower at $6.77, and MGE May is 3 3/4 cents lower at $846 1/2.
Cattle futures are trading lower at midday. Futures are under pressure as prices fell to a new 3 ½ month low. Funds continue to liquidate long positions with the selling pressure enhanced by weakness in the stocks market. Lower cash trade in the southern Plains on Tuesday and lower beef prices are also weighing on cattle futures. April cattle futures are 90 cents lower at $118.90 and June is 95 cents lower at $115.10.
Lean hog futures are trading mostly higher at midday. In contrast to the overnight trade, several contracts opened higher, despite the sizable drop in the pork cutout value on Tuesday. The pork cutout was down more than $1.50 on Tuesday falling to its lowest level since early January 2011. But a lot of traders have exited the market in the last few weeks and they are anxious to get in on the ground floor whenever prices turn higher. The hope that pork prices were bottoming sent hog futures higher on Monday and seems to be supporting prices today. The April contract is up 10 cents at $84.13 and June is 15 cents higher at $91.80.
Cotton futures are trading lower at midday. Prices are solidly lower despite news that India plans to buy cotton to stockpile. Burdensome supplies of cotton are weighing on futures, and the surplus looks to continue, according to Commerzbank. May is 183 points lower at 90.81 cents and December is 119 points lower at 89.35 cents.