Corn futures traded higher on Friday. The March contract pushed to a 31-month high late in the session as the market continued to build on the bullish momentum from the USDA’s Supply/Demand report this week. Tight ending stocks are projected for the current market year. The report of an export sale to Mexico also helped rally the market. But gains were limited by weakness in soybean prices and further strength in the dollar this morning. March closed 8 cents higher at $7.06 1/2 and December was 3 3/4 cents higher at $6.18 1/4.
Soybean futures closed lower on Friday. Old-crop months were down solidly on declining export demand for old-crop soybeans and improved weather conditions for Argentina’s soybean crop. On Thursday, USDA reported old-crop sales for last week were a marketing year low. New-crop contracts have been pulled lower, but losses were limited by the need to compete for acreage this spring. March ended 17 cents lower at $14.16 and November was 6 cents lower at $13.79 1/2.
Wheat futures traded higher on Friday. Short-covering following the losses on Thursday and news that Egypt bought wheat and Tunisia is in the market for wheat were supportive factors. Warmer weather in the Plains is expected to melt snowcover and provide the crop with some much need moisture, although it could leave the crop vulnerable to another cold snap. CBOT March closed 4 1/4 cents higher at $8.67, KCBT March was 5 cents higher at $9.73 and MGE March ended 3 cents higher at $10.17 3/4.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday. Front end contract were pressured by recent weakness in boxed beef prices and steady to lower cash bids. Choice beef prices were down 87 cents at midday and light cash trade this week has been unchanged to $1 lower. Deferred contracts were narrowly mixed with little direction ahead of the weekend. February was $1.13 lower at $107.78 and April was 38 cents lower at $112.70.
Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on Friday. Profit-taking weighed on the market following the strong gains on Thursday. However, losses in the soon to expire February contract were limited by supportive cash fundamentals. Cash prices were firm this week, but there is concern they could fall next week. Packer margins have tightened and backed up hogs from this week could hit the market as forecasts call for warmer temperatures. February ended 33 cents lower at $86.40 and April was $1.33 lower at $92.38.