Corn futures closed slightly higher on Monday. Strong losses in the dollar provided the market support. But gains were limited by generally favorable planting conditions and disappointing export shipments. Weekly export inspections reported this morning at 32.0 million bushels were below trade expectations and nearly 10 million bushels below the previous week. May ended 2 1/2 cents higher at $3.48 1/4 and July was 2 1/4 cents higher at $3.59 1/2.
Soybean futures were mixed on Monday. Front end contracts were supported by bull spreading. Weakness in the dollar and firm cash markets were bullish fundamental factors. USDA reported the sale of 120,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China for delivery in the 2009/10 crop year. But deferreds were lower on concern about export competition from the record crops expected in Brazil and Argentina. May closed 7 3/4 cents higher at $9.60 and July was 6 1/2 cents higher at $9.68 1/2.
Wheat futures settled slightly higher on Monday. Weakness in the dollar and short-covering following the weakness in Friday pushed futures slightly higher. But gains were limited by strong winter wheat condition ratings and abundant wheat stocks in the U.S. and globally. CBOT May ended 2 cents higher at $4.67 3/4, KCBT May was 3/4 of a cent higher at $4.84 1/4 and MGE May closed 1 cent higher at $5.02 1/4.
Cattle futures closed lower on Monday. Futures opened higher on fundamental and technical strength, but turned lower on a round of profit-taking. Boxed beef prices hit 20-month highs last week and were higher at midday. Cash trade is expected to be steady to higher this week after rallying to above $100 on a live basis in some areas, the highest level since July 2008. April was 65 cents lower at $99.00 and June was 70 cents lower at $94.05.
Lean hog futures were mostly lower on Monday. The soon to expire April contract was slightly higher on steady to firm cash markets and firm pork cutouts prices last week. But deferreds traded lower on the premium of futures to cash and on profit-taking from recent gains. April closed 15 cents higher at $76.38 and June was 40 cents lower at $83.98.