Corn: Grain futures faced profit-taking in overnight trade

 

 Corn: 4 to 6 cents lower; pre-weekend profit-taking.
 Wheat: 10 to 12 cents lower; lack of fresh news, profit-taking.
 Soybeans: 4 to 6 cents lower; China raises reserve requirements.
 Meal: $1 to $3 lower; spillover from beans.
 Soyoil: 30 to 40 points lower; spillover from crude oil, soybeans.
 
  Grain futures faced profit-taking in overnight trade, with traders
evening positions ahead of the extended holiday weekend. Focus this
morning will be on news China has raised reserve requirements for banks
-- the first such move of 2011 after raising requirements six times last year. Traders fear the move will lower the country's demand for
commodities, as the Chinese government works to find a way to cool
inflation and slow economic growth.
  The U.S. dollar has been choppy this morning, but crude oil and gold
futures are sharply lower.
  This morning's NOPA crush report for December showed soybean crush at
145.537 million bu., coming in below expectations. Soyoil stocks at just over 3.0 billion lbs. came in above expectations. Traders view the data as negative, which will add to early pressure in the soy complex.
 
** OPENING LIVESTOCK CALLS **
 Live cattle: Steady to weaker; higher cash factored into futures.
 Feeder cattle: Steady to weaker; profit-taking.
 Lean hogs: Steady to weaker; narrowing the premium to cash.
 
  Livestock futures are called to open steady to weaker amid profit-
taking, with focus on evening positions ahead of the extended holiday
weekend. Additional pressure is expected from weakness in the U.S. stock market as investors gear up for a flurry of earnings reports.
  Cash cattle trade is picking up at $108 in Kansas, with similar trade
expected in Texas today. This is up $2 from the bulk of last week's trade, as strong boxed beef trade caused packers to raise bids. February futures are trading above this level, which is expected to pressure the nearby contract. But downside risk should be limited by the positive near-term cash outlook given strong demand prospects -- domestic and abroad.
  Focus in the hog pit will be on narrowing the premium nearby contracts hold to the cash index, as the cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady, with some mixed undertones due to variable demand. Light demand is expected at most locations, as packers say supplies are booked well into next week and a lighter kill is planned for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

*Disclaimer: The information in the Market Commentaries was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed therein constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any futures or options contracts.