Corn futures closed strongly higher on Monday. Futures were pushed even higher today as scouts on the ProFarmer crop tour report lower than expected yields as corn harvest begins in some areas of the Midwest. As far as the condition of the corn crop, USDA is anticipated to peg today’s condition ratings at 23 percent good to excellent which is unchanged from last week. Additional price support was seen from export sales of 121,000 tonnes of U.S. corn to Mexico for delivery during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 crop years. September corn closed 17 cents higher at $8.15 while December corn 16 3/4 cents higher at $8.24.

Soybean futures closed firmly higher on Monday. Speculative fund buying helped boost soybean futures to an almost one month high today along with more disappointing crop reports from another firm’s (ProFarmer) crop tour. The trade is reacting to concern that the U.S. crop yield estimate may drop even further from the cut in this month’s WASDE report. Despite high prices, there is still little evidence of demand rationing that must take place in a big way to leave even minimal ending stocks prior to the 2013 harvest. The fundamentals of the market are very much supportive for prices with supplies expected to tighten further while demand for the oilseed shows no sign of easing. September soybeans closed 32 3/4 cents higher at $17.05 while November beans closed 39 1/4 cents higher at $16.85.

Wheat futures closed higher on Monday. Wheat prices closed higher although slightly, supported by impressive runs in the corn and soybean markets. The market was also supported by news that Russia may limit wheat exports due to poor production output. Two Russian grain marketing firms reduced their 2012 wheat output after initial harvest’s in Urals and Siberia were worse than expected. However, the Russian Agriculture Minister continues to stand firm that the country does not plan to implement an export ban. September wheat at CBOT closed 5 cents higher at $8.79; KCBOT closed 5 1/2 cents higher at $8.91; and MGE closed 3 1/2 cents higher at $9.30.

Live cattle futures closed higher on Monday. Market prices shook off pressure from and somewhat bearish Cattle On Feed report last Friday. Prices have remained relatively strong throughout the day session on strength in the wholesale beef market and higher cash prices. The recent rise in wholesale beef prices is indicative of rising demand for beef products and continued to lift cattle prices ahead of the Labor Day holiday. October cattle closed 20 cents higher at $125.48 while December closed 53 cents higher at $128.75.

Lean hog futures closed lower on Monday. Hog futures traded both sides of unchanged today as the trade focuses once again on plentiful pork supplies. Traders are concerned that a substantial flow of pork at current market prices could prove to be very bothersome for futures and cash prices in the short term. However prices may garner strength from the nearby future’s (October) discount to cash prices. October closed down 30 cents at $75.85 and the December closed unchanged at $73.55.