** OPENING GRAIN CALLS **
Corn: Steady to 1 cent higher; Mexico buys U.S. corn.
Wheat: 9 to 11 cents higher; Iraq includes U.S. in wheat purchase.
Soybeans: Mixed; dollar strength to limit buying.
Meal: 50 cents to $1 lower; spreading, watching dollar.
Soyoil: Mixed; limited direction from crude oil, soybeans.
Wheat futures were the price leader to the upside in overnight trade due to a flurry of fresh export business and ongoing global crop concerns. Iraq purchased 350,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat, including 200,000 MT of U.S. wheat and 150,000 MT of Australian wheat. Tunisia bought 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat and export sources say China may buy up to 1 million metric tons of Australia feed wheat (of which 300,000 MT to 500,000 MT has already been purchased). The Chinese feed wheat news limited buying in the corn market overnight.
Beneficial precip was seen in areas of China's drought-impacted wheat
area over the weekend, but much more precip is needed to improve crop
prospects, as the crop in southern areas is coming out of dormancy.
Also this morning, USDA announced a 145,000 MT corn sale to Mexico, with 65,000 MT for the current marketing year and 80,000 MT of the total for 2011-12. The purchase follows news from ag officials in the country that in the state of Sinaloa, nearly 500,000 hectares of production was lost or damaged by the recent cold snap.
This morning's NOPA crush report showed January soybean crush at 144.6 million bu., coming in just above the average trade guess. Soyoil stocks of 3.098 billion lbs. were also slightly above the average guess of 3.016 billion pounds.
** OPENING LIVESTOCK CALLS **
Live cattle: Weaker; showlist seen larger for the week.
Feeder cattle: Weaker; spillover from live cattle.
Lean hogs: Weaker; cash bids expected to soften as week progresses.
Livestock futures are called to open weaker amid profit-taking, as well as the lack of fresh bullish news. Helping to limit pressure will be strong export prospects, but firmness in the U.S. dollar index is expected to contribute to profit-taking. Bottom line: Traders say the market is due for a correction and this week's cash fundamentals aren't bullish.
Cash cattle trade picked up late Friday, with trade coming in mostly
steady with the previous week at $106 to $107. However, cash sources say feedlots were not active sellers, meaning there were more cattle left unsold to swell this week's available marketings.
The cash hog market is expected to be steady to weaker this morning, but cash sources say more downward momentum could build as the week progresses since supplies appear more plentiful this week. Packers saw cutting margins move into the red last week. Therefore, unless pork cutout values improve, packers are expected to lower bids in order to improve margins.