Corn futures were strongly higher on Thursday. Weakness in the dollar, which was spurred by the Federal Reserve's plan to buy Treasury Securities, helped rally most commodity markets. Spillover support came from strong gains in soybeans and crude oil. However, weekly export sales reported this morning were below trade expectations at 17.4 million bushels. May closed 8 1/4 cents higher at $3.96 1/2 and December ended 9 1/2 cents higher at $4.28 1/4.



Soybean futures traded sharply higher on Thursday. Weakness in the dollar and inflationary concerns supported commodity markets after the Federal Reserve announced plans to pump large amounts of money into Treasuries and mortgage securities. Weekly export sales of 12.5 million bushels of old and new-crop are strong for this time of year, but were below trade expectations. May closed 25 1/2 cents higher at $9.40 1/2 and November was 36 1/2 cents higher at $8.92 1/2.



Wheat futures were sharply higher on Thursday. The strong gains were attributed to the sharp decline in the value of the dollar. Some rainfall is expected in the Plains next week, but most of it is forecast to miss the most critical areas of the HRW wheat belt. Weekly export sales were below trade expectations at 8.7 million bushels of old and new-crop sales. CBOT May closed 25 1/4 cents higher at $5.55 1/4, KCBT May ended 23 cents higher at $6.06 and MGE May was 20 1/2 cents higher at $6.39 1/4.



Cattle futures were strongly higher on Thursday. Fund buying pushed prices higher as the value of the dollar tanked following the Federal Reserve's plan to purchase Treasury securities. Further gains were limited by sluggish beef demand and the lack of cash trade so far this week. At midday, choice cutouts were down $1.18, pushing packer margins further in the red. April ended $1.20 higher at $84.75 and June closed $1.73 higher at $83.13.



Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on Thursday. The nearby was pushed a little lower by weakness in the cash market, but deferreds were supported by the recent action by the Federal Reserve that has weighed heavily on the value of the dollar. The general strength in commodities, expectations that hog supplies will tighten, and ideas that weakness in the dollar will benefit exports were supportive to the most deferreds. April was 20 cents lower at $62.05, June was 48 cents higher at $74.95 and October was 43 cents higher at $68.75.