Lean hog futures traded higher on Thursday. The market was lower much of the day but rallied in to the close on spillover support from cattle. Cash trade was steady to lower as most packers have slaughter needs covered well into next week. However, tightening supplies of market ready hogs and improved packer margins should help the cash market rebound next week. April closed 28 cents higher at $92.18 and June was 63 cents higher at $102.60.

Corn futures closed sharply higher on Thursday, with the March contract pushing to a new contract high. Commodity markets were supported by news that China is considering lowering its import taxes on food items to curb inflation. Weekly export sales for corn reported this morning were bullish at 46 million bushels, which was at the high end of expectations. March ended 22 1/4 cents higher at $7.12 3/4 and December was 23 1/4 cents higher at $6.15 1/4.

Soybean futures were strongly higher on Thursday. Short-covering from the recent long liquidation sell-off was triggered by news that China is thinking about reducing import taxes on food items to curb inflation on food costs. The market was able to rally despite more cancelations of old-crop soybeans by China reported in the weekly export sales report. March closed 38 1/2 cents higher at $14.04 1/2 and November was 44 3/4 cents higher at $13.73 1/2.