Corn futures closed higher on Thursday. Spillover buying from soybeans and planting delay concerns supported corn prices today, but gains were limited by end-of-month profit-taking and an increase in farmer selling. Weekly export sales were strong last week at 52.8 million bushels of old and new-crop, which was above trade expectations. Wet weather and forecasts calling for more rain in the southern and eastern Corn Belt kept planting delay concerns alive. May ended 3 1/4 cents higher at $3.96 1/4 and December was 1 1/2 cents higher at $4.23 1/4.



Soybean futures were strongly higher on Thursday, led by old-crop months. The bullish weekly export sales report, declining production estimates for Argentina and tight old-crop stocks supported the market. Export sales of 43 million bushels of old and new-crop soybeans were above trade expectations. Strength in Asian vegetable oil markets was supportive for soybean oil and the soy complex. May closed 36 cents higher at $10.70 and November ended 11 cents higher at $9.43 1/2.



Wheat futures settled higher on Thursday. Spillover strength from soybeans and spring wheat planting delays supported wheat trade. However, gains were limited by disappointing weekly export sales. Sales of 5.2 million bushels of old-crop and 4 million bushels of new-crop were below trade expectations. In addition, Egypt bought some Canadian wheat instead of from the U.S. CBOT May closed 3 1/2 cents higher at $5.24 1/4, KCBT May ended 6 1/2 cents higher at $5.78 3/4 and MGE May was 2 1/2 cents higher at $6.81 1/2.



Cattle futures were lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by spillover weakness from lean hog futures and weaker boxed beef prices. At midday, choice beef prices were down 83 cents and select cutouts were 98 cents lower. Cash trade has not yet developed, but ideas it will be steady at best this week was also a bearish factor for futures. June closed 45 cents lower at $82.50 and August was 55 cents lower at $82.65.



Lean hog futures were sharply lower on Thursday in front end contracts, but deferreds turned mixed. Lower cash hog prices and pork cutouts values weighed on nearby contracts as packers are having a hard time moving pork amid concern about the H1N1 virus - the swine flu. Despite assurances that the virus is not spread by pork, several countries have banned or restricted U.S. pork imports. June ended $2.23 lower at $64.53 and July closed $1.55 lower at $67.30.