Corn futures closed lower on Friday. Fund selling weighed on the market despite firm soybean trade and strength in the stock market. Lackluster export demand remains a bearish factor for corn. China has not been importing corn due to record corn production in 2011. Losses were also attributed to the unwinding of long corn/short soybean spreads. CBOT March was 6 1/4 cents lower at $5.95 1/4 and May ended 6 1/4 cents lower at $6.03.
Soybean futures traded higher on Friday. Fund buying and short-covering supported futures trade today. There was also some unwinding of long corn/short soybean spreads. There is some concern about dry conditions in Brazil, although most forecasts for soybean production in Brazil and Argentina have been increasing recently. January closed 7 3/4 cents higher at $11.35 3/4 and March was 7 3/4 cents higher at $11.46 1/4.
Wheat futures closed higher on Friday. Short-covering supported the market following recent weakness. Tight supplies of high protein wheat helped push the KCBT and MGE higher. Some fundamental support also came from a report from Ukraine that it may need to import wheat in 2012/13 due to a smaller 2012 winter wheat crop. The Farm Ministry estimates wheat production at 8.5 million tonnes compared to 22.2 million for the 2011 crop. CBOT March was 11 1/4 cents higher at $6.25 1/2, KCBT March ended 12 1/2 cents higher at $6.81 1/2 and MGE March closed 12 1/4 cents higher at $8.44 1/2.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday. Report of steady to $1 higher cash trade in the Plains helped futures trading near unchanged. However, front end futures were steady to lower on some late profit-taking ahead of the weekend. Deferreds were higher on strength in the stock market and on optimism that the European leaders will agree on a plan to deal with the euro-zone crisis. December ended unchanged at $121.90 and February was 48 cents lower at $123.25.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Friday. The weak tone in the cash market and futures premium to cash weighed on futures trade today. However, further losses were limited by the $1.09 rebound in pork cutout values on Thursday. Follow-through strength in the stock market provided underlying support. December ended $1.33 lower at $86.25 and February was $1.05 lower at $89.23.