Corn futures traded higher on Friday and gained about 5% for the week. The market was supported by weakness in the dollar index and firm cash markets. Increased export demand and light farmer selling has been supportive for basis levels. But gains in futures were limited on Friday by weakness in equities markets and spillover selling from the soybean and wheat pits. March closed 7 1/4 cents higher at $6.41 3/4 and May was 7 1/2 cents higher at $6.47 1/2.
Soybean futures closed lower on Friday. The market was pressured by forecasts for timely rainfall in Argentina next week, which will help relieve crop stress. Hot and dry weather this weekend is expected to be followed by significant rainfall next week. Losses were limited by strength in corn and weakness in the dollar index. March closed 3 3/4 cents lower at $12.19 and July was 3 1/2 cents lower at $12.38 1/4.
Wheat futures ended lower on Friday. The losses halted a six straight days of higher prices. However, CBOT wheat still closed 6% higher for the week. The profit-taking weighed on prices as traders were able to set aside concern about the potential for improved export demand. There is concern about the lack of snow cover in Russia and the Ukraine that will make some of the crop vulnerable to winterkill this weekend. CBOT March closed 6 1/4 cents lower at $6.47 1/4, KCBT March ended 9 cents lower at $7.00 and MGE March was 1 cent lower at$8.26 1/4.
Cattle futures closed higher on Friday ahead of cash trade for the week and the Cattle Inventory report. Market ready cattle supplies remain tight and packers have pushed prices higher recently despite poor margins. Februaryended 15 cents higher at $124.70and April was 40 cents higher at $128.45. The report released after the close showed all cattle and calves in the U.S. down 2% from last year. This is the lowest January 1 cattle inventory number since 1952.
Lean hog futures traded higher on Friday. Pre-weekend short-covering and recent strength in cash hog prices were supportive. However, gains were limited by tightened packer margins that could limit further strength in the cash market. Pork cutouts were down 88 cents on Thursday. February closed 73 cents higher at $86.68 and April was 58 cents higher at $87.38.