** OPENING GRAIN CALLS **
Corn: 4 to 6 cents higher; new marketing-year high corn sales tally.
Wheat: 7 to 9 cents higher; wheat sales above expectations.
Soybeans: 2 to 3 cents higher; gains limited by disappointing sales.
Meal: Mixed; spreading with soyoil.
Soyoil: 20 to 40 points higher; spreading with meal possible.

  Grain futures favored a firmer tone overnight amid short-covering, with traders focused on evening positions to end the week. Outside markets are providing mixed signals this morning, with the dollar and crude oil firmer, while gold is sharply lower.
Early focus in the grain market should be on this morning's Weekly
Export Sales Report. Corn sales of over 1.5 million metric tons (MMT) were a new marketing-year high and marked the fourth straight week of sales topping 1 MMT. The report should provide a reminder of the tightening old-crop stocks situation and the need to slow usage via higher prices. Sales of 160,600 metric tons (MT) were reported for 2011-12.
Wheat sales of over 1 MMT were reported for the current marketing year and sales of 105,000 MT were noted for 2011-12. The tally came in above expectations and shows major importers using the recent price break to book supplies.
Meanwhile, soybean sales of 134,600 MT were for 2010-11 and sales of
118,000 MT were for 2011-12, coming in below expectations. A slowdown in soybean sales signals China is being more selective with purchases. USDA also announced a daily soybean sale of 165,000 MT to China for 2011-12.

** OPENING LIVESTOCK CALLS **
Live cattle: Steady to slightly higher; higher cash cattle trade.
Feeder cattle: Steady to slightly higher; spillover from live cattle.
Lean hogs: Steady to slightly higher; cash hogs steady to firmer.

  Positive cash fundamentals are expected to lift livestock futures this morning, with additional support coming from the U.S. stock market. Following three straight days of losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is set to open firmer amid short-covering.
Cash cattle trade is complete for the week, with trade in Kansas and
Texas reported $1 higher from last week at $111 and trade in Nebraska $2 higher at $112. Trade was active, which will have feedlots current on marketings heading into next week. The boxed beef market has posted
overall price gains this week, but Choice values slipped 9 cents
yesterday, while Select rose 27 cents on solid movement of 286 loads.
Pork cutout values slipped yesterday, but packers' profit margins remain well in the black, keeping demand for cash hogs strong. The cash hog market is expected to be steady to $1 higher this morning, although
sources say packers are well booked for next week, which could limit
additional cash strength early next week.