Corn futures were able to pull higher late in the session on Thursday. Today's session was choppy. Firm cash markets helped underpin futures, but buying interest was limited by bearish fundamentals including stiff competition for export demand. March closed 1 cent higher at $1.97 3/4.

Soybean futures closed higher today, led by strength in the nearby contracts. Firm cash basis levels helped support the market. Supplies of soybeans at the gulf are limited as barge traffic has been disrupted and farmer selling remains light. There were also rumors of fresh Chinese business. March futures closed 5 1/2 cents higher at $5.23 1/4.

Wheat futures were lower on Thursday pressured by news that the European Union will offer export subsidies for up to two metric tons of wheat. Pressure had been mounting for such a move to counter the weak U.S. dollar and aggressive export competition in the world market. CBOT Mar was 4 1/4 cents lower at $2.94 3/4. KCBT Mar fell 4 1/4 cents to close at $3.34 3/4 and MGE Mar was also down 4 1/4 cents at $3.43.

Cattle futures were mixed on the close Thursday in a rather quiet session as traders awaited cash market developments. Early pressure was attributed to spillover selling from the recent steep break. February futures closed 17 points higher at $89.52.

Lean hog futures were down sharply on Thursday as funds selling and lower cash markets helped trigger sell stops under the market. The February contract dropped $1.43 and closed at $74.35.