Corn seems set to finish the week strongly. Little fresh corn news emerged overnight, with traders seeming unconcerned about the ongoing South American harvest. Spot firmness in the U.S. seems to be providing support for the Chicago market. Traders also appear to be taking their lead from current wheat gains. May corn futures rose 1.0 cent to $3.895/bushel Thursday night, while December added 1.0 to $4.1275.

Talk of surging South American supplies seemed to depress the soy complex. Brazil’s soybean harvest is expected to reach the halfway point in the days ahead, with beans flowing freely from farms to ports to ships. Those considerations and the global market’s shift of focus to South America seemed to undercut soybean and meal futures last night. Concurrent crude and palm oil losses make the early-morning rise in soyoil prices quite impressive. May soybean futures slumped 3.5 cents to $9.87/bushel, while May soyoil bounced 0.13 cents to 31.00 cents/pound, and May meal sagged $1.5 to $330.1/ton.

Talk of weather issues seems to be boosting wheat markets. Talk of growing dryness in the hard red winter wheat region continued supporting prices overnight, with some sources also starting to point to excessive moisture and possible winter kill in the soft red winter region of the eastern Corn Belt. However, futures may face significant moving average resistance, especially if long-liquidation hits before the weekend. May CBOT wheat climbed 5.0 cents to $5.1225/bushel early Friday morning, while May KC wheat advanced 6.0 cents to $5.525/bushel, and May MWE wheat gained 5.0 to $5.745.

Spreading bird flu rattled cattle traders Thursday. Despite talk that fed cattle will trade higher again this week, as well as the fact that beef quotes were mixed at noon, traders rather clearly worried the current ‘bird flu’ outbreak will badly undercut the livestock and meat markets, thereby causing confused trading among the various cattle contracts. Thursday afternoon events suggest a mixed opening today as well. April cattle futures rose 0.20 cents to 155.80 cents/pound as the CME pit session concluded Thursday, while August cattle skidded 0.05 cents to 144.62 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures slid 0.20 cents to 212.90 cents/pound, but August feeders climbed 0.37 to 212.67.

Bird flu worries depressed the hog market. The hog and pork complex has obviously been dealing with excessive supplies and weak demand lately. Traders apparently fear the situation will worsen if the domestic market is swamped by chicken due to ‘bird flu’ inspired export embargoes. Futures plunged at one point but came back later in the day. Thursday afternoon GLOBEX action suggest opening weakness today. April hog futures dove 1.82 cents to 62.30 cents/pound at Thursday’s close, while June hogs tumbled 0.42 to 75.77.

Cotton futures traded mixed Thursday night. After suffering substantial losses over the previous two weeks, the cotton market rebounded as the equity indexes surged and the U.S. dollar dipped yesterday. The nearby May contract continued modestly higher overnight, whereas deferred futures slipped. Ultimately, fiber traders seem to be waiting for spring. May cotton moved up 0.19 cents to 61.41 cents/pound as Friday dawned over New York, while December futures skidded 0.01 to 63.22.