Corn futures closed higher on Monday. Outside markets provided support to the corn market as the dollar was lower while crude oil futures were higher. There is also anticipation that index fund buying will begin later this week as portfolios are rebalanced. But gains were limited by profit-taking after the March contract hit a 6 1/2 month high. March ended 4 cents higher at $4.18 1/2 and May was 4 1/2 cents higher at $4.28 3/4.    


Soybean futures were higher on Monday. Weakness in the dollar and strength in crude oil and equities were supportive. Outside markets pushed spot prices to the highest level since mid-December before profit-taking trimmed gains. Weekly export inspections released this morning were strong at 32.2 million bushels, although that was below trade expectations. January closed 9 3/4 cents higher at $10.49 1/2 and March was 9 1/2 cents higher at $10.58.    


Wheat futures were strongly higher on Monday, with spot prices at the highest level since early December. The market was supported by weakness in the dollar, strength in the stock market and gold and expectations of index fund buying later this week due to portfolio rebalancing. But further gains were limited by sluggish export demand. Weekly export inspections of 9.1 million bushels were well below trade expectations. CBOT March closed 16 1/4 cents higher at $5.57 3/4, KCBT March ended 14 1/4 cents higher at $5.50 1/2 and MGE March was 15 cents higher at $5.60.

Cattle futures closed lower on Monday. The market was initially supported by outside markets, but profit-taking developed to push prices lower. Expectations for larger cattle supplies in early 2010 and concern about increased competition from poultry following the Russian ban on U.S. poultry were bearish factors. February was 80 cents lower at $85.38 and April ended 73 cents lower at $89.08.


Lean hog futures settled higher on Monday. Futures were supported by outside market support as the dollar was lower while the stock market was higher today. Cold temperatures are limiting marketings and reducing weight gains. However, gains were limited by concern about increased competition from poultry following Russia’s ban on U.S. poultry imports. February ended 25 cents higher at $65.85 and April closed 58 cents higher at $70.45.