Corn futures closed strongly higher on Thursday. The weaker dollar, strength in crude oil and crop concerns helped rally the market following yesterday's sharp setback. Wet conditions in the eastern Corn Belt will further delay the tail end of corn planting and could push some more acreage intended for corn to soybeans. July ended 16 cents higher at $4.48 1/2 and December was 16 1/2 cents higher at $4.71 1/2.



Soybean futures were sharply higher on Thursday. The market rallied back from yesterday's losses as inflationary concern sent speculative money back into the commodity markets. The outside market strength trumped the bearish news in the weekly export sales report. Cancellations of sales to China were reported, which is the first sign that high prices are beginning to slow demand. July closed 48 cents higher at $12.30 and November was 34 1/2 cents higher at $10.81 1/2.



Wheat futures were strongly higher on Thursday. The market rebounded from Wednesday's sharp losses amid weakness in the dollar and speculative buying returning to the commodity markets. Weather for HRW wheat is mixed as rain in the northern areas will help the filling of wheat while rain in the southern areas will hamper harvest activity. The market rallied despite continued sluggish export demand. Weekly export sales fell well below pre-report trade estimates. CBOT July closed 17 3/4 cents higher at $6.35 1/4, KCBT July was 18 1/4 cents higher at $6.90 and MGE July was 17 3/4 cents higher at $6.35 1/4.



Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. The market was supported by short-covering from technically oversold conditions and future's discount to the cash market, which developed at mostly $82 today. However, gains were limited by weak beef demand. Boxed beef prices were down again at midday Thursday, with choice cutouts down 96 cents. June ended 53 cents higher at $80.03 and August was 23 cents higher at $81.00.



Lean hog futures were mixed on Thursday. Lower cash hog prices and weakness in pork cutout values continue to be bearish factors for the market. However, most contracts turned higher on short-covering from technically oversold conditions. Higher corn prices were also supportive for deferred contracts. June ended 3 cents lower at $57.28 while July was 23 cents higher at $60.58.