Corn futures recovered from early weakness to post a mixed close Wednesday. News that bird flu is spreading in Korea kept grain markets under pressure through most of the day. However, corn futures continue to find strong support on setbacks with record demand once again attracting anxious buyers. December corn was 1 1/2 cents higher at $3.70 1/4 and March was 1/2 cent higher at $3.85 1/4.



Soybean futures were a few cents lower on the close Wednesday. News of bird flu in Korea and favorable weather in key South American soybean growing regions contributed to the selling pressure. January soybeans closed 4 cents lower at $6.82 1/4 and March was 3 1/2 cents lower at $6.96.



Wheat futures staged a late rebound to close higher after trading a few cents lower through most of the day Wednesday. Lingering concerns about declining winter wheat conditions and tightening global wheat supplies contributed to the late rally. CBOT Mar was 3 1/2 cents higher at $5.11 1/2, KCBT Mar was 5 1/2 cents higher at $5.41 1/2, and MGE Mar was up 2 1/4 cents at $5.21.



Cattle futures were down rather sharply, pressured by lower boxed beef cutout values and ideas that cash prices will decline about a dollar this week. The February futures contract dipped to the lowest level since November 15, and is slipping toward chart support around $88. December cattle closed 117 points lower at $85.20 and February was down 107 points at $88.40.



Lean hog futures were slightly higher on the close Wednesday. The market was on the defensive most of the day but late short covering turned futures higher on the close. Concerns that winter weather pushing into the Midwest will slow marketings provided fundamental support. December lean hog futures closed 7 points higher at $61.25 and February was 17 points higher at $64.70.