Corn futures were lower on Monday as heavy weekend rain and technically based selling pressured prices. The recent rains have helped alleviate concerns about dry soils that have persisted since last summer. May futures closed 5 1/2 cents lower at $2.20 1/2. December settled 5 cents lower at $2.58.



Soybean futures settled lower on Monday. Speculative selling pressured the market as fundamentals remain bearish. Recent rainfall has helped improved pre-planting conditions for the 2006 crop and the spread of bird flu and possibly another case of BSE in the U.S. could hamper soybean meal demand. May ended 4 3/4 cents lower at $5.84 1/2 and November was 3 3/4 cents lower at $6.11.

Wheat futures ended sharply lower on Monday. After gapping lower on the open, selling pressure accelerated today. Weather forecasters are calling for a good chance of moderate rains in the hard red winter wheat belt this weekend. CBOT May fell 14 cents to close at $3.67 1/2. KCBT May was 18 1/2 cents lower at $4.34 3/4. MGE May was down 13 cents at $4.21 3/4.



Cattle futures closed mostly higher on Monday. The market recovered from early weakness to post gains in most contracts, shrugging off uncertainty about another possible BSE case. Today's close is an encouraging signal, suggesting that the recent steep decline may be over. April cattle were 17 points higher at $83.62. June was up 2 points at $79.12. March feeder cattle gained 45 points to close at $102.02.



Lean hog futures closed higher on Monday with a big gain for April and more modest increases for deferred contracts. The price strength was generally attributed to short covering and profit taking. There were some signs cash bids might be bottoming out but overall cash bids were still down today. April was up $1.15 at $59.72 and June ended 50 cents higher at $68.63.