Corn futures traded mixed on Friday. Front end contracts were higher on firm cash markets and bull-spreading. Weekly export sales were better-than-expected last week at 29.9 million bushels. However, deferred contracts were pressured by the outlook for increased acreage this spring. March closed 5 1/2 cents higher at $6.11 1/2 and May was 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.16 3/4.
Soybean futures closed solidly lower on Friday. Strength in the dollar index and strong losses in crude oil futures pressured the market. In addition, weather forecasts are calling for improved chances of rainfall in the dry areas of southern Brazil and Argentina. The market fell despite a bullish weekly export sales report this morning. Sales of 36.4 million bushels were well above normal with significant sales being reported to China. March ended 10 cents lower at $11.87 and May was 8 3/4 cents lower at $11.95 1/2.
Wheat futures were mostly higher on Friday. The CBOT and KCBT were supported by a late round of short-covering and on talk of increased export demand for U.S. wheat. Weekly export sales reported this morning at 21.5 million bushels were above trade expectations. The bearish global supply and demand fundamentals remain an underlying negative factor. CBOT March closed 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.10 1/2, KCBT March was 9 cents higher at $6.67 while MGE March was 1/4 of a cent lower at $7.98 3/4.
Cattle futures closed mostly higher on Friday. The nearby contract was supported by strength in the cash market late on Thursday. Cash trade jumped to $126 live late on Thursday, up about $3 from the previous week. Packers raised bids despite strongly negative processing margins. Deferred contracts were mixed on positioning ahead of the Cattle on Feed report which was released after the close. February ended 35 cents higher at $124.55 awhile April was 8 cents lower at $127.73.
Lean hog futures traded mixed on Friday. Front end contracts were pressured by the 56 cent decline in pork cutouts on Thursday. There is concern that the rally in pork prices is about out of steam. However, mostly deferred contracts were higher at the close on pre-week end short-covering. February closed 8 cents lower at $85.33 and April was 45 cents lower at $87.05.