Lean hog futures traded higher on Thursday. Futures were supported by talk of strong domestic and export demand. Cash hog markets were generally steady to 50 cents higher today. Seasonally tightening supplies and strong demand are expected to continue to support the cash market. Pork prices have rallied to the highest level for the year this week. April closed 25 cents higher at $90.33 and June was 65 cents higher at $101.18.
Corn futures turned strongly higher on Thursday. Old-crop futures led the rally on spillover support from wheat and renewed rumors that China was buying U.S. corn. Strength in crude oil and short-covering following the decline on Wednesday also pushed prices higher. New-crop was pulled higher as well. Forecasts for cool and wet weather in the Midwest were supportive as early spring fieldwork would be delayed. May closed 21 1/2 cents higher at $7.02 1/2 and December was 9 cents higher at $6.18 3/4.
Soybean futures closed higher on Thursday. Old-crop contracts were pulled higher by strength in corn and wheat. However, gains were limited by the lack of supportive news. The U.S. Census Bureau crush for February was 129.4 million bushels, near trade expectations. Weekly export sales of 9.7 million bushels were at the low end of pre-report trade estimates. New-crop led gains on positioning ahead of the Prospective Plantings report due out March 31. May ended 3 1/4 cents higher at $13.54 1/2 and November was 10 1/4 cents higher at $13.43 1/2.