Corn futures ended slightly lower on Monday. The sharp losses in the stock market and crude oil weighed on prices. However, losses were limited by positioning ahead of the USDA reports due out on Tuesday morning. Traders are expecting USDA to peg corn planting intentions at 84.4 million acres compared to last year's 86 million acres. Quarterly stocks are expected to be 7.01 billion bushels. May fell 3/4 of a cent to $3.86 1/4 and December was 1 cent lower at $4.18 1/4.



Soybean futures closed lower on Monday, although losses were trimmed from earlier in the session. Strength in the dollar and weakness in the stock market and crude oil futures put soybean futures on the defensive. Losses were limited by positioning ahead of the Prospective Plantings and Quarterly Stocks reports. The average pre-report estimate for soybean planting intentions in 2009 is 79.6 million acres compared to planted areas of 75.7 million last year. Quarterly stocks are expected at 1.322 billion bushels. May fell 12 1/2 cents to $9.04 1/2 and November closed 18 3/4 cents lower at $8.42.



Wheat futures turned higher on Monday to post modest gains. Short-covering helped support prices despite weakness in corn and soybeans along with the stock market. Wet weather and flooding in the northern Plains may trim spring wheat plantings. The market is looking for USDA to report all wheat acreage in 2009 at 58.6 million acres, down from 63.1 million last year. Spring wheat acreage is expected to fall to 13.6 million acres from 14.1 million last year. Quarterly stocks are expected at 1.06 billion bushels. CBOT May closed 5 1/4 cents higher at $5.12 1/2, KCBT May ended 4 1/2 cents higher at $5.54 1/2 and MGE May was 3 1/2 cents higher at $6.11 1/4.



Cattle futures closed sharply lower on Monday. The market was limit down in some months and June futures fell to the lowest level since early December due to the big losses in the stock market, strength in the dollar and the weak tone in the beef market. Choice beef prices were slightly higher at midday, but have been trending lower recently. April fell $1.50 lower at $82.83 and June was $1.50 lower at $80.08.



Lean hog futures were mostly lower on Monday. The nearby ended slightly higher on ideas that the cash market will be supported by seasonally tightening hog numbers and the 26 cents jump in pork cutouts on Friday. Deferreds were pressured by fund selling that was triggered by weakness in the outside financial markets and strength in the dollar that could hurt export demand. April ended 8 cents higher at $60.55 and June fell 43 cents to $70.98.