Corn futures settled modestly higher on Monday. Short-covering helped push prices higher following recent weakness. Weekly export inspections reported this morning were strong at 52.2 million bushels, up from 39.4 million bushels last week and above the pace needed to reach USDA's export forecast. Weather remains generally bearish given the mild temperatures and forecasts for chances of rain this week, although concerns about the late maturity of the crop remain. September closed 6 cents higher at $3.22 1/4 and December was 6 1/2 cents higher at $3.33 3/4.



Soybean futures were mostly lower on Monday. Favorable weather conditions for the crop pressured futures today, with only the nearby August contract posting small gains. Mild temperatures and chances of rain are leading to ideas of big yields. August ended 1/4 of a cent higher at $10.21 1/4 while November was 8 1/2 cents lower at $9.06 1/2.



Wheat futures traded higher on Monday. The rebound in corn helped lead to a short-covering rally in wheat as well. However, gains continue to be limited by sluggish export demand. Weekly export inspections last week were only 10.7 million bushels compared to trade expectations of 14-17 million. Strong spring wheat condition ratings are also bearish factors. CBOT Sep was 4 1/4 cents higher at $5.20 1/2, KCBT Sep ended 2 3/4 cents higher at $5.51 3/4 and MGE Sep closed 6 cents higher at $5.97 1/2.



Cattle futures turned mostly higher on Monday. The market was able to rebound from early weakness on short-covering and fund buying. Cattle futures had been pressured by concern about beef demand and the disappointing cash trade last week. Boxed beef prices eased slightly on Friday, but at midday choice cutouts were up 97 cents, alleviating some fears that beef prices had peaked. August settled 18 cents higher at $84.70 and October was 45 cents higher at $90.20.



Lean hog futures closed mixed on Monday. Fund selling and technical weakness pressured prices most of the session with October through August 2010 hitting new contract lows. Concern that pork prices have topped remains a fundamentally bearish factor. But technically oversold levels led to a short-covering bounce that helped push front end contracts higher. August ended 13 cents higher at $59.18, October was 18 cents higher at $54.75 while December ended 33 cents lower at $54.05.