Corn futures traded strongly higher on Friday. The market was supported by strong export demand and weather concerns. China has been an active buyer of corn. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 24.5 million bushels of old-crop and 34.2 million bushels of new-crop were above trade expectations. Weather conditions are generally favorable currently, but traders are putting some weather premium back into the market as some forecasts are calling for warmer and drier Midwest weather over the next couple of weeks, threatening some of the crop during pollination. September closed 22 1/4 cents higher at $6.72 1/4 and December was 21 1/2 cents higher at $6.37.
Soybean futures closed higher on Friday. The market rallies on spillover support from corn and some weather forecasts indicating a hot and dry weather pattern could develop over parts of the Midwest over the next couple of weeks. The smaller soybean acreage number will make good yields even more critical this year. However, gains were limited by weakness in crude oil and the stock market and strength in the dollar. August closed 6 cents higher at $13.46 3/4 and November was 8 3/4 cents higher at $13.46 1/2.
Wheat futures were mixed on Friday. The unwinding of long MGE/short CBOT contracts helped push the CBOT higher and pressured the MGE. CBOT wheat was also supported by spillover support from corn. Reports of good protein levels in the hard red winter wheat crop this harvest was bearish for spring wheat prices. CBOT September closed 16 3/4 cents higher at $6.51 1/4, KCBT September ended 3 1/4 cents higher at $7.27 1/4 while MGE September was 7 3/4 cents lower at $8.17.
Cattle futures closed lower on Friday. The market turned lower during the session on profit-taking from recent gains. Weakness in the stock market and strength in the dollar was bearish as it could indicate slower demand. But cash trade developed at 4114 to $115 in the Plains, up from $112-$113 last week. Strong beef exports were also supportive this morning as sales for the year are up 34% compared to year-ago levels. August ended 8 cents lower at $114.65 and October was $1.03 lower at $120.20.
Lean hog futures traded mixed on Friday, with front end contracts lower and most deferred contracts lower. Weakness in the cash market late this week and the 85 cents drop in pork cutouts on Thursday were bearish factors. Also, weakness in the stock market and strength in the dollar pressured trade. But deferreds were supported by firm corn prices. July closed $1.28 lower at $95.88 and August was 10 cents lower art $96.18.