Corn futures were modesty higher Monday. The slight gains appeared to be driven by light short covering ahead of Wednesday's USDA reports. March corn settled 1 1/4 cents higher at $1.96 1/4.

Soybean futures ended slightly higher although prices ended near the low end of the trading range. Gains were attributed to technical short-covering as support held at $5.00 on the March contract. However, bearish fundamentals limited gains. March ended 1 3/4 cents higher at $5.01 1/4.

Wheat futures bounced higher today. Shorts seemed to begin covering positions more aggressively as the market showed signs of bottoming. However, gains were limited by disappointing weekly export inspections. CBOT Mar was 4 3/4 cents higher at $2.92 1/2. KCBT Mar gained 4 cents to close at $3.26 1/4. MGE Mar was up 3 cents at $3.38 1/4.

Cattle futures were moderately higher on the close Monday finding support from last week's strong cash market and ideas that showlists will remain tight this week. February futures climbed 30 points to close at $91.22.

Lean hog futures closed strongly higher on Monday, except for the soon to expire February contract. Fund buying pulled prices higher despite continued poor cash fundamentals. Ample hog supplies and questionable demand has given packers the upper hand in negotiations. April ended 135 points higher at $74.35.