Corn futures were 3 to 4 cents higher Monday. Weather threatens to slow planting progress. Short covering of positions assigned from expired May put options appeared to help spark the up move. The market's ability to clear last week's high and chart resistance also provided a technical boost. July futures closed 4 3/4 cents higher at $2.22 1/4. The December contract was 3 1/4 cents higher at $2.37 1/4.



It was a choppy day in the soybean pit. After trading about 15 cents higher at mid-session, soybean futures retreated into the close only salvaging modest gains. Technical and fund based buying prompted the push above chart resistance at last week's high during the overnight session. That strength carried over into the day session, but if corn planting is delayed it usually means more soybeans acreage. The July soybean contract closed up 1 1/2 at 6.42.



Wheat futures were strongly higher Monday supported by heavy fund buying amid concerns about potential crop losses from dryness in the southern Plains and cool, wet weather in the eastern Corn Belt. Chicago July wheat jumped 11 1/4 cents to close at $3.30 1/2. KCBT July was 11 3/4 cents higher at $3.33 3/4. MGE July wheat climbed 14 1/4 cents to close at $3.46 3/4.



Cattle futures were sharply higher Monday in reaction to the bullish USDA Cattle on Feed report released Friday afternoon. June futures jumped 140 points to close at $87.12. The August contract was 115 points higher $86.02. May feeder cattle surged 175 points to close at $108.65. The cash market is not yet established with sellers asking $96 to $97, up $2 to $3 from last week's $94 level. Choice boxed beef cutout values were 57 cents higher Monday morning at $159.31.



Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on Monday due to weak cash fundamentals. Prices started higher in reaction to smaller than expected cold storage stocks reported after the market closed on Friday and spillover from cattle, but the weak technical picture for futures along with soft pork prices eventually pulled futures lower. June hogs closed 75 cents lower at $75.15.