Lean hog futures closed higher on Thursday. Spillover support from cattle, steady to firm cash markets and the rally in the stock market helped support lean hog futures. The recent setback in futures has trimmed the premium of deferreds contracts to cash, which has helped to encourage buying. April ended 55 cents higher at $88.80 and June was 88 cents higher at $100.68.

Corn futures closed strongly higher on Thursday. The market rallied on a technical bounce from the losses on Wednesday that was triggered by the supportive weekly export sales report. New commitments of 42.5 million bushels of old-crop and 4.8 million bushels of new-crop corn were above trade expectations. New-crop months were also supported by the competition for acreage this spring and concern about the higher-than-normal chances of spring flooding in the upper Midwest. May ended 15 3/4 cents higher at $7.29 3/4 and December was 10 1/4 cents higher at $6.15 3/4.

Soybean futures were solidly higher on Thursday. The market was supported by continued talk that China may lower import tariffs to ease food inflation. In South America, rain has slowed harvest progress in Brazil and Argentina port workers could strike if current negotiations falter, which both could boost near-term export demand for U.S. soybeans. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 13.3 million bushels of old-crop and 10.4 million bushels of new-crop were above trade expectations. May closed 17 3/4 cents higher at $14.12 and November was 16 3/4 cents higher at $13.62 1/2.