Corn futures ended higher Monday. Prices rallied to a one-month high this morning on support from higher than expected weekly export inspections of 32.0 million bushels and the tumble in the value of the dollar. Also bullish was news that China will not raise its interest rates. News that the ethanol tax credit will be extended, but at a lower value of 36 cents per gallon was friendly for prices. March was 14 1/4 cents higher at $5.88 1/2 and May was 14 cents higher at $5.97.


Soybean futures finished higher Monday. Spillover support from outside markets boosted soybean prices as the value of the U.S. dollar fell sharply lower. News that China is not going to raise its interest rates was also favorable. Exports have been strong and USDA raised the export forecast 200,000 bushels in Friday’s Supply/Demand report. Weekly export inspections continue to be revised considerably higher week-to-week due to the fast pace of shipments. January was 29 1/2 cents higher at $13.02 1/2 and March was 29 1/2 cents higher at $13.12.


Wheat futures closed higher Monday. The market continues to push higher on crop concerns. Heavy rains in Australia are delaying harvest and reducing quality while dry conditions in the western U.S. Plains are stressing the HRW wheat crop. However, Friday’s Supply/Demand report showed higher-than-expected ending stocks both at the world and U.S. levels. Weekly export inspections were 18.0 million bushels. CBOT March was 4 3/4 cents higher at $7.80 1/4, KCBT March was 3 1/4 cents higher at $8.35 1/4 and MGE March was 1 1/2 cents higher at $8.71.


Cattle futures settled higher Monday. Futures rallied to a one-week high on support from the beef market as some last-minute buying was being done ahead of the holidays. Short-covering after last week’s dip to three-week lows added to gains. Futures were weighed down by USDA’s higher beef production estimate for 2010 on Friday, which was up 315 million pounds to 26.2 billion. December was $1.00 higher at $101.95 and February was $1.00 higher at $104.95.


Lean hog futures closed higher Monday. Higher cash hog prices due to the winter weather in the Midwest inhibiting movement of hogs to market boosted prices. Also supportive was seasonal tightening of the supply of hogs and strength in corn prices. Favorable packer margins were friendly as well. February was $1.18 higher at $76.33 and April was $1.05 higher at $80.05.


Cotton futures finished limit-up Monday. Prices climbed to the 4-cent limit at about 9:15 a.m. CST and remained there throughout the rest of the session. Strength in the market came from news that China would not be increasing its interest rates. Uncertainty remains as to whether or not India will extend its export deadline added to strength. Also favorable was the sharp drop in the value of the dollar. March was 400 points higher at 140.97 cents and May was 400 points higher at 133.23 cents.