Corn futures closed higher on Thursday. The rally in crude oil and spillover strength from soybeans supported prices. The weekly export sales report this morning was also supportive as sales of 49.6 million bushels were above trade expectations. In addition, forecasts for more rain in the Midwest is keeping concerns about potential planting delays alive. May ended 6 1/2 cents higher at $4.02 1/2 and December was 6 1/2 cents higher at $4.33 3/4.

Soybean futures were strongly higher on Thursday. The big gains in the stock market, sharply higher crude oil futures and weakness in the dollar were supportive factors. Weekly export sales reported this morning at 43.4 million bushels were also bullish. Lingering support continues to come from the USDA planting intentions number that was well below market expectations. May closed 25 cents higher at $9.77 and November was 23 1/2 cents higher at $9.15 1/2.

Wheat futures posted strong gains on Thursday. The market was supported by spillover strength from soybeans, weakness in the dollar and the rally in the stock market. Excessively wet weather in the northern Plains was also a bullish factor as spring wheat planting will likely be delayed in many areas. CBOT May ended 25 cents higher at $5.50 1/2, KCBT May was 25 1/2 cents higher at $5.91 1/2 and MGE May was 15 3/4 cents higher at $6.59 1/4.

Cattle futures settled higher Thursday. Spillover support from the stock market and the pullback in the dollar helped push futures higher. Select beef prices dropped back below Choice, indicating we could see the beef market recover as consumers return to more normal buying trends. Significant cash trade has yet to develop, but is expected to be steady to firm. April finished $1.40 higher at $85.18 and June was $1.63 higher at $83.00.

Lean hog futures ended mostly higher Thursday, with the nearby weighed down by weakness in the cash market and poor pork prices. Deferreds found support in live cattle and the stock market, as well as the lower dollar.
There are hopes that tight supplies and seasonally higher demand will boost prices and lead to a higher cash market and pork cutouts. April was 48 cents lower at $59.68 while June was 28 cents higher at $71.88.