Corn futures closed higher Thursday. Strong weekly export sales supported the market. USDA's supply/demand report was fairly neutral. Corn for ethanol was raised 25 million bushels and ending stocks were lowered that amount, but traders were expecting exports to be raised as well. March ended 4 1/4 cents higher at $2.25 1/2 and May was 4 1/4 cents higher at $2.36 1/4.



Soybean futures moved higher on Thursday despite bearish fundamentals in the USDA report this morning. USDA raised their ending stocks estimate to 555 million bushels, a new record high. Fund buying, rallies in metal and energies, and higher corn and wheat markets lent the market support. March ended 9 3/4 cents higher at $5.87 3/4 and May was up 10 1/2 cents at $6.01 3/4.



Wheat futures ended higher on Thursday. The market rallied on strong technical support after Kansas City March through resistance at $4.31 on the weekly continuation chart to reach the highest level for a nearby contract since 2002. The Supply/Report with morning was a nonevent with USDA making no changes to U.S. numbers. CBOT Mar gained 6 1/2 cents to close at $3.63 1/4. KCBT Mar was 6 1/4 cents higher at $4.33 and MGE Mar was up 5 1/2 cents at $4.15.



Cattle futures closed slightly higher on Thursday. News that Argentina has foot and mouth disease provided fundamental support but weakening cash prices and a decline in the morning boxed beef cutout values limited gains. April closed 20 points higher at $90.15 and June gained 17 points to close at $84.47. March feeder cattle were 87 points higher at $108.85.



Lean hog futures closed slightly higher on Thursday after trading both sides throughout the session. Further gains in cash bids were the principal factor supporting futures prices, bringing speculators back to the market on the long side. April closed 5 cents higher at $62.23 and June ended 13 cents higher at $69.48.