Corn futures ended higher again on Thursday as the recovery rally continued. Export demand is strong and a positive force in the corn market as weekly export sales were above trade expectations. Commitments for the new marketing year are already up about 95 million bushels from year-ago. September closed up 4 cents at $2.27 1/2. December settled 4 1/4 cents higher at $2.44 1/4.

Soybean futures ended slightly lower on Thursday. Weather and lower-than-expected export sales weighed on the market today. The nearly ideal August weather continues to weigh on futures as traders are expecting the soybean production number to rise. September closed 3/4 of a cent lower at $5.51 1/2 and November ended 1 1/2 cents lower at $5.65.

Wheat futures were higher on the close Thursday. The market was supported by technical buying and ideas that export demand for U.S. wheat will begin to increase. Wheat futures in Europe continue to climb, reaching new contract highs in France and reinforcing concerns about tightening global wheat supplies. CBOT Sep was 9 1/2 cents higher at $3.75 1/2. KCBT Sep climbed 8 1/4 cents to close at $4.62. MGE Sep was 6 1/4 cents higher at $4.46.

Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. Ideas that cash cattle will be firm to higher this week provided fundamental support. Technical buying was also supportive as futures pushed through light chart resistance at Tuesday's highs. October gained 87 points to close at $92.32 while December was 62 points higher at $91.42. October feeder cattle were down 25 points to close at $117.17.

Lean hog futures closed mixed but mostly lower on Thursday as the uptrend in cash prices appears to be losing steam. Nearby October closed higher on Thursday because the contract price is still far below the settlement index. But most other months posted fairly modest declines. October closed 25 cents higher at $66.43 and December was down 15 cents ending at $62.60.