Corn futures were higher on Thursday. Weekly export sales were better than recent weeks at 36 million bushels. However, most of the futures strength stemmed from fund related buying. May settled 1 3/4 cents higher at 2.07 1/2.

Soybean futures closed lower today. Poor weekly export sales at a marketing year low 4.7 million bushels pushed prices lower. Better than expected March NOPA crush of 141.8 million bushels failed to generate any buying interest. May futures ended 6 1/4 cents lower at $6.17.

Wheat futures were slightly lower. Some weakness was attributed to reports of favorable crop prospects in Europe and Asia. Also, another round of rain is in the forecast for the Plains by the middle of next week. CBOT May was 1 1/2 cents lower at $3.09. KCBT May managed to buck the lower trend to finish 3/4 of a cent higher at $3.22. MGE May wheat closed 1 3/4 cents lower at $3.25 1/4.

Cattle futures were solidly higher Thursday boosted by strengthening cash prices. Cash cattle are trading in the $92 to $93 range in Nebraska, up from $90 to $91 last week. Heavy boxed beef movement Wednesday was also supportive. April was 90 points higher at $89.92. June futures climbed 57 points to close at $84.85.

Lean hog futures closed lower on Thursday. Cash hog prices were mostly lower today as packers backed away from the market. Cutout values have dropped below cash hog bids and packers are losing money. April expired at $69.68. June hogs were down 8 cents, closing at $77.25.