Corn futures closed higher on Thursday. After posting strong gains this morning, prices were trimmed by profit-taking, weakness in soybeans, and wheat falling from its highs for the day. Midday forecasts were a little drier, which is bearish as it would help corn planting progress in the eastern Corn Belt. However, the late planting and ideas that some acreage intended for corn will go to soybeans remains a bullish factor. July ended 2 3/4 cents higher at $4.28 3/4 and December was 2 1/2 cents higher at $4.52 1/4.



Soybean futures closed mixed on Thursday. Front end contracts were pressured by profit-taking and talk that China may have canceled one to three cargoes of export sales from the U.S. Census crush for April was reported this morning at 140.6 million bushels, slightly below pre-report trade expectations of 141.2 million. New-crop contracts were able to close slightly higher on planting delay concerns in the eastern Midwest. July ended 8 cents lower at $11.79 while November was 3 cents higher at $10.53.



Wheat futures closed mixed on Thursday. Winter wheat held higher on increased concern about disease following the recent stretch of wet weather. Slow spring wheat planting progress remains a bullish concern, but the MGE fell anyway on profit-taking from the recent runup to eight month highs earlier this week. CBOT July ended 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.30 1/2, KCBT July closed 5 3/4 cents higher at $6.80 3/4 while MGE July was 12 1/4 cents lower at $7.67 1/2.



Cattle futures traded lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by reports of cash trade falling to $84 in the southern Plains today, down $1 from last week. Boxed beef prices were lower at midday, with choice cutouts down 70 cents. June closed 88 cents lower at $81.50 and August was $1.25 lower at $81.85.



Lean hog futures settled higher on Thursday. Short-covering and a firmer tone in the cash market supported the futures market. Packers are short-bought and are raising bids to bring hogs to market to fill slaughter schedules. In addition, strength in the stock market and outlook for tightening hog supplies seasonally were bullish factors. June closed 13 cents higher at $65.40 and August ended 18 cents higher at $68.13.