Corn futures slipped to a lower close despite a higher opening and strength in soybeans. Hot, dry weather in Argentina was supportive but technical selling emerged after March futures nudged above chart resistance at $2.21 but failed to follow through to the upside. March corn closed 1 cent lower at $2.17 3/4 and May was down 3/4 of a cent at $2.27 3/4.

Soybean futures were strongly higher Monday boosted by a return to hot, dry weather in Argentina and southern Brazil. Forecasts calling for the stressful weather pattern to persist into next week spiked soybean futures to the highest level since January 6. March soybeans closed 9 1/2 cents higher at $5.98 3/4 and the May contract was up 9 3/4 cents at $6.09 1/2.

Wheat futures were modestly higher Monday finding support from strength in the soybean market and continuing concerns about the dry weather pattern in the southern Plains. Expectations for new sales to Iraq also provided support. Chicago March wheat was 1 3/4 cents higher at $3.45 1/4. KC March climbed 4 1/2 cents to close at $3.98 1/4 and MGE March wheat was up 1 3/4 cents at $4.01 1/2.

Cattle futures ranged from 30 to 65 points lower Monday. Early reports suggest that quite a few cattle were carried over from last week so showlists will be larger this week. Technical selling weighed on the market as futures fell to the lowest level since Thanksgiving. February live cattle futures fell 65 points to close at $93.25 and April was down 62 points at $91.15.

Lean hog futures were mostly higher on the close Monday. After a lower opening, most contracts rebounded amid bargaining hunting and short covering. However, sluggish cash market fundamentals kept the February contract on the defensive. February lean hogs closed 17 points lower at $56.07 while April was up 50 points at $61.82.