Corn futures closed lower on Friday. Spillover pressure from soybeans, the stock market, and crude oil all weighed on the market. But losses were limited by another strong weekly export sales report. USDA reported this morning that export sales last week were 52.4 million bushels, the fifth straight week of strong export demand. March ended 3 cents lower at $3.50 1/4 and May was 3 cents lower at $3.59.



Soybean futures were strongly lower on Friday. The market was on the defensive today on spillover weakness from the stock market and the drop in crude oil. Strength in the dollar index was also a bearish factor. Rumors that China was cancelling some sales with the U.S. in favor of Brazilian soybeans helped extend losses. Rainfall in Argentina has been largely factored into the market, but should help improve crop conditions. March closed 22 cents lower at $8.62 1/2 and July was 22 1/4 cents lower at $8.69 1/4.



Wheat futures settled slightly lower on Friday. Spillover weakness from soybeans and outside markets such as crude oil also pressured prices. Losses were limited by short-covering ahead of the weekend and news that China had purchased 30,000 tonnes of U.S. SRW wheat. Much of China's wheat crop has been damaged by drought. CBOT March closed 1/4 of a cent lower at $5.19 1/4, KCBT March ended 1 1/2 cents lower at $5.56 3/4 and MGE March was 1 cent lower at $6.24 3/4.



Cattle futures closed strongly lower on Friday. April hit its contract low before losses were trimmed slightly ahead of the close on short-covering ahead of the Cattle on Feed report. Weakness in the economy continues to raise concern about beef demand. Boxed beef prices and the cash market traded lower this week. April ended $1.33 lower at $83.43 and June closed 98 cents lower at $81.55.



Lean hog futures were sharply lower on Friday, hitting new contract lows in most months. Long liquidation and fund selling was prompted by weakness in the stock market and concern about sliding pork demand. Cash markets were weak today as packers lowered bids due to margins being well into the red. April closed $2.63 lower at $57.95 and June ended $2.13 lower at $70.98.