Corn futures were higher on Monday. The market was supported by strength in crude oil and news that USDA Secretary Vilsack supports increasing the blend rate of ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent to 12-13 percent. Weekly export inspections were supportive at 40.6 million bushels, beating pre-report trade estimates ranging from 25-30 million bushels. May ended 4 cents higher at $3.65 1/2 and December closed 5 1/4 cents higher at $3.96.



Soybean futures settled mixed on Monday after a choppy trading session. The market was supported at times by strength in the cash market and talk that China bought 8 cargoes of U.S. soybeans last week. Weekly export inspections were also above trade expectations at 27.2 million bushels. But old-crop months turned mostly lower as the stock market also fell. Positioning ahead of the Supply/Demand report on Wednesday provided new-crop months light support. May fell 2 cents to $8.65 while November was 2 1/2 cents higher at $8.17 1/2.



Wheat futures closed mixed on Monday. Sluggish wheat export demand and some forecasts calling for rain in the HRW wheat belt pressured wheat futures. The value of the dollar was up today, which is bearish for U.S. export sales. But the poor wheat conditions in the southern Plains and positioning ahead of USDA's Supply/Demand report due out on Wednesday provided light support. CBOT May fell 3 3/4 cents to $5.23 1/4, KCBT May ended 3/4 of a cent higher at $5.74 3/4 and MGE May was 2 cents lower at $6.11.



Cattle futures closed higher on Monday. Short-covering helped push prices higher today. The stock market provided support at times, although losses were seen this afternoon. Boxed beef prices were up slightly at midday, but there is optimism that beef demand will begin to improve seasonally. Cash markets are currently expected to be mostly steady this week. April ended 75 cents higher at $83.20 and June was 50 cents higher at $81.58.



Lean hog futures settled lower on Monday. Profit-taking on recent gains weighed on the market today. The inability of the stock market to hold onto gains and concern about poor packer margins were bearish factors. However, front end losses were limited by steady to higher cash prices again today. April ended 8 cents lower at $62.43 and June closed 53 cents lower at $73.20.