Corn futures ended steady to slightly lower on Monday. Ideas of a big jump in corn acreage this spring and disappointing export inspections weighed on the market. Weekly export inspections totaled 32.3 million bushels while the market was looking for 36-40 million bushels. March closed unchanged at $4.02 and December was 2 1/4 cents lower at $3.95.



Soybean futures closed higher on Monday. The market was choppy today, but was able to gain on corn on ideas of a sharp reduction in soybean acres this spring as corn area increases. Soybeans were also supported by strength in soybean oil, which is moving higher in sympathy will the recent uptick in energy prices. March closed 3 1/4 cents higher at $7.40 and November was 3 1/4 cents higher at $7.93.



Wheat futures closed slightly lower on Monday. Following a stronger opening, wheat prices sagged to a weaker close after following the corn market for direction. Despite strong weekly export inspections of 23 million bushels, the highest level of the current crop year, the market failed to attract much buying enthusiasm. CBOT Mar fell 2 3/4 cents to close at $4.58 1/2. KCBT March was down 1 3/4 cents at $4.85 1/4 while MGE March fell 1 1/4 cents to close at $4.92 1/4.



Cattle futures were solidly higher on Monday. Higher cash prices Friday afternoon and the bullish USDA Cattle Inventory report boosted futures. All fed cattle contracts except the nearby February climbed to new highs. Gains in the February contract were limited by late speculative long liquidation ahead of the first delivery notices due out this evening. February was 60 points to close at $91.65. April was 85 points higher at $95.32. March feeder cattle were up 157 points at $97.20.



Lean hog futures closed lower on Monday despite generally higher cash bids. Profit taking was a bearish factor as the market is looking a little shaky after several weeks of good gains. There are also ideas that cash prices are near a top and that supplies will increase as temperatures moderate later this week. February ended 68 cents lower at $64.68 and April was 73 cents lower at $67.58.