Corn futures closed higher on Thursday. The market was supported by forecasts calling for more rain in the southern and eastern Midwest the second half of next week, which would further slow planting progress. Gains were limited by weekly export sales coming in below trade expectations and by soybeans turning lower. July ended 4 1/2 cents higher to $4.12 and December ended 4 1/4 cents higher at $4.31.



Soybean futures turned lower on Thursday. The market was higher most of the day, but turned lower into the close on profit-taking and talk that China may have cancelled some orders for U.S. soybeans. Losses in the stock market and crude oil slipping from its highs for the day also weighed on the market. July closed 16 cents lower at $11.02 and November fell 6 cents to $9.72.



Wheat futures closed solidly higher on Thursday. Reports that wheat abandonment may be quite high in Oklahoma due to freeze damage and trade reports that production may be down over 50% from last year supported futures. In addition, spring wheat planting delay concerns continue. The market rallied despite sluggish export demand. Weekly export shipments reported this morning were below the pace needed to reach USDA's export forecast. CBOT July ended 11 1/2 cents higher at $5.70 1/4, KCBT July closed 5 1/4 cents higher at $6.12 1/4 and MGE July was 8 1/4 cents higher at $6.86 1/2.



Cattle futures closed mostly higher on Thursday. Short-covering helped the market rebound from the losses posted most of the session. Cash cattle trade developed at around $84 live, which is down about $2 from last week. Boxed beef prices were lower at midday, although only slightly as choice cutouts were down 17 cents. June closed 15 cents higher at $82.03 and August ended 18 cents higher at $82.53.



Lean hog futures settled mixed on Thursday. The market was able to rebound from initial losses as steady to higher cash trade provided support. Pork cutout values have rebounded the past two days by over $2. But some contracts remained on the defensive on continued concern about H1N1 flu and the associated restrictions on U.S. pork imports. June ended 33 cents lower at $66.78 and July fell 65 cents to $69.45.