Corn futures closed strongly lower on Friday. Outside financial markets pressured crops today as the dollar was strongly higher while crude oil and equities were sharply lower. Profit-taking was also noted after prices rallied early this week on news that China had purchased U.S. corn. Wet weather in the Corn Belt will slow some planting progress, but with the strong pace so far this spring the moisture should be mostly beneficial for the crop. July was 10 cents lower at $3.63 and December closed 9 cents lower at $3.80.
Soybean futures were lower on Friday. Strength in the dollar, weakness in crude oil and the stock market and a bearish crush report pressured prices. NOPA reported the April crush this morning at 131.7 million bushels, well below the average trade estimate of 136.6 million. Demand for U.S. soybeans has slowed following the record harvest in Brazil and Argentina. July closed 11 cents lower at $9.53 1/2 and November ended 9 cents lower at $9.26 1/4.
Wheat futures traded lower on Friday. Strength in the dollar, spillover pressure from corn and soybeans and bearish fundamentals weighed on trade. A stronger dollar will make U.S. wheat even less competitive on the export market. Futures have fallen below some key moving averages this week, which encouraged additional selling. CBOT July ended 7 1/2 cents lower at $4.71 1/2, KCBT July was 5 3/4 cents lower at $4.91 and MGE July closed 5 1/2 cents lower at $5.12 3/4.
Cattle futures ended sharply lower on Friday. Active fund selling was triggered by strength in the dollar and weakness in the stock market. There is also concern that the cash market is topping. Boxed beef prices were lower on Thursday, with choice cutouts down $1.26, although they bounced slightly at midday Friday. Wholesale demand is expected to slow soon as Memorial Day orders are filled. June was $2.33 lower at $93.25 and August was $2.65 lower at $92.00.
Lean hog futures closed lower on Friday. Strength in the dollar and weakness in the stock market pressured the futures market. Pork cutouts were down 49 cents on Thursday and there is concern that prices have topped as wholesale orders for Memorial Day are nearly complete. Pork exports in March were disappointing and strength in the dollar could slow trade. June ended $1.05 lower at $83.55 and July was $1.43 lower at $83.83.