Corn futures ended strongly lower on Friday. Weakness in crude oil and the stock market pressured prices today. Losses were extended by USDA's Outlook Forum production forecast for 2009 at 12.365 billion compared to 12.1 billion last year. Ending stocks are only expected to be trimmed slightly the next marketing year. May futures closed 11 1/2 cents lower at $3.59 and July was 11 3/4 cents lower at $3.68 1/2.



Soybean futures closed mixed on Friday. Front-end contracts were pulled higher by short-covering following recent weakness and ideas that Argentina's export market may be disrupted by farmer strikes. New-crop futures were pressured by USDA's Outlook Forum production forecast of 3.24 billion bushels in 2009, up from 2.959 billion in 2008. Ending stocks next year are expected to grow to 380 million bushels, up from 205 million this year. May ended 3 1/2 cents higher at $8.72 while November was 10 1/2 cents lower at $8.24 1/2.



Wheat futures settled lower on Friday. The market was pressured by spillover weakness from corn and strength in the dollar. Global wheat demand is a concern given the slowing world economy. However, losses were limited by USDA's Outlook Forum forecast for the 2009 U.S. wheat crop to be 2.12 billion bushels, down from 2.5 billion last year. CBOT May closed 3 1/2 cents lower at $5.21 1/2, KCBT May ended 2 cents lower at $5.60 and MGE May ended 2 1/4 cents lower at $6.06 1/4.



Cattle futures closed steady to firm on Friday. Expectations for firm cash trade later today helped push futures higher. Light trade developed in Nebraska at $130 dressed yesterday, up $1 from last week. Cash cattle in the southern Plains are expected to develop at $81-$82. However, gains were limited by weakness in the stock market and further losses in boxed beef prices. April ended 10 cents higher at $85.93 and June closed 15 cents higher at $83.90.



Lean hog futures were strongly higher on Friday. Fund buying was triggered by ideas that the cash market should improve. Pork cutouts have firmed a little the past couple of days, pushing packer margins back into the black. With hog supplies expected to tighten over the next few weeks, the cash market should be near a bottom. April closed $1.93 higher at $60.90 and June was $1.25 higher at $72.53.