Corn futures closed strongly higher on Thursday. Spillover support from soybeans, strong gains in crude oil, bullish weekly export sales, strength in the stock market and weakness in the dollar were all supportive factors. The market rallied despite mild temperatures and chances of rain in the Corn Belt, which should benefit the crop during pollination and ear filling. September ended 11 1/2 cents higher at $3.32 1/4 and December was 14 1/4 cents higher at $3.42 1/4.

Soybean futures were sharply higher on Thursday. The market has rallied on tight stocks of old-crop soybeans, strong sales in the weekly export sales report, gains in equities and weakness in the dollar. USDA confirmed sales of 120,000 tonnes of old-crop soybeans to China and 1.8 million tonnes of new-crop. New-crop was pulled higher as well despite generally favorable crop growing weather. August ended 70 3/4 cents higher at $11.28 1/4 and November was 55 cents higher at $9.71.

Wheat futures settled higher on Thursday. Spillover support from corn and soybeans, weakness in the dollar and better than expected weekly export sales supported the wheat market. Sluggish export demand has been a bearish factor for the wheat market recently, but weekly export sales of 21.1 million bushels were above trade expectations. CBOT Sep ended 4 3/4 cents higher at $5.116 1/4, KCBT Sep was 3 cents higher at $5.49 1/2 and MGE Sep closed 1 1/4 cents higher at $5.99 1/2.

Cattle futures traded higher on Thursday. Strength in the stock market and weakness in the dollar helped cattle futures as well as other commodity markets turn higher. Boxed beef prices were a little lower on Wednesday and at midday Thursday, but had rallied to a one-month high on Monday. But demand concerns limited further gains as jobless claims reported this morning were larger than expected. August closed 63 cents higher at $84.58 and October was 60 cents higher at $89.85.

Lean hog futures were mixed on Thursday. Front end contracts were sharply lower with the August contract posting a new low. The sharp decline in pork prices and talk that packers will slow slaughter weighed on the nearby. However, some deferred contracts turned higher on short-covering and strength in corn prices. August closed $2.13 lower at $54.63 and October was 50 cents lower at $52.60.