Corn seemed to follow beans and wheat higher Thursday night. The corn market seems to be suffering a dearth of news at this point, which makes is more response to other factors. The fact that it held above technical support yesterday, probably encouraged bulls who were happy to push yellow grain prices up in concert with the other crops. March corn rose 1.5 cents at $4.42/bushel early Friday morning, while May added 1.25 to $4.4775.

Talk of Chinese buying is reportedly powering the bean surge. Several negative developments have occurred in the bean market lately, particularly beneficial rains in South America and a poor Export Sales report Thursday. However, the soy complex is exhibiting considerable strength at this point, to which traders credit talk of renewed Chinese buying despite the advancing South American harvest. March soybeans jumped 7.25 cents to $13.515/bushel Thursday night, while March soyoil climbed slipped 0.06 cents to 39.48 cents/pound, and March soymeal surged $3.8 to $456.6/ton.

Wheat futures continued following soybeans higher overnight. The wheat markets have exhibited considerable strength lately, with the Chicago market following Kansas City and Minneapolis in breaking out of downtrends thin the past few days. They followed through to the upside Thursday night, although there appeared to be little pertinent news. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 6.25 cents to $6.0175/bushel in early Friday trading, while March KCBT wheat futures advanced 4.75 cents to $6.775, and March MWE futures gained 3.5 to $6.6575.

Cash strength is boosting cattle futures. Although cattle traders recently worried about declining wholesale prices and their potentially bearish impact on cattle prices, beef packers boosted their bids for fed cattle again Thursday. Futures surged in response and continued rising overnight, which probably reflected the fact that beef cutout edged higher for the first time in several days. April cattle futures pushed up 0.15 cents to 142.55 cents/pound in pre-dawn Friday action, while August lifted 0.17 cents to 131.60. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle advanced 0.37 cents to 171.10 cents/pound, and May rose 0.27 to 172.15.

Cash and wholesale strength also encouraged hog bulls. Although hog futures seemingly rose in concert with cattle Thursday, late-afternoon reports indicated considerable cash and wholesale strength in the hog and pork complex as well. Indeed, that news is almost surely powering early Friday gains. April hogs surged 0.52 cents to 95.45 cents/pound around dawn Friday, while June ran up 0.47 to 105.37.

Cotton futures bounced back from Thursday’s losses. The weekly Export Sales report published yesterday was decidedly negative and seemed to overcome the positive influence exerted by the equity markets and by the cotton plantings figure on the USDA baseline report. However, bulls appeared to return with fresh vigor this morning, as indicted by a sizeable early advance. March cotton climbed 0.69 cents to 88.29 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Friday, while July cotton rallied 0.56 to 88.78.