Corn futures closed sharply higher on Monday. Tight stocks, firm cash markets and talk of export demand with China pushed old-crop futures higher. The rally in old-crop supported new-crop as well, but gains were limited by ideas of a big increase in corn acreage this spring. May ended 17 1/2 cents higher at $6.71 1/2 and December was 6 cents higher at $5.68 1/2.
Soybean futures ended lower on Monday. Profit-taking and some corn/soybean spread trade weighed on the soybean market. Futures had rallied to the highest level in 5 1/2 months last week. There is concern that the recent rally in prices will slow global demand and increase soybean planting in the U.S. this spring. May closed 3 1/4 cents lower at $13.34 1/2 and November was 5 3/4 cents lower at $12.99 1/2.
Wheat futures traded higher on Monday. Spillover support from corn, weakness in the dollar index and short-covering helped push futures higher. However, further gains were limited by rainfall in the Plains that should benefit winter wheat crop prospects. CBOT May closed 8 1/4 cents higher at $6.51 1/4, KCBT May ended 12 cents higher at $6.96 and MGE May was 14 1/2 cents higher at $8.19 1/2.
Cattle futures rebounded from losses this morning to close higher on Monday. Talk that packers are short-bought and that cash bids will be higher this week helped push futures higher. Packer margins have improved and market ready cattle supplies remain tight. April ended 73 cents higher at $126.75 and June was 30 cents higher at $123.90.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Monday. The market was pressured by the decline in pork cutouts and concern that pork demand will remain sluggish until spring grilling season picks up. However, losses were limited by the steady to firm tone in the cash market and on ideas that supplies of market ready hogs will be tightening. April closed 53 cents lower at $87.30 and June was 45 cents lower at $94.88.