Corn futures ended higher on Friday. A round of short-covering ahead the weekend helped push prices higher after falling about 30 cents earlier this week. Buying interest was limited most of the day by sharp losses in outside commodities, in particular gold. March ended 6 cents higher at $3.68 1/4 and December was 6 1/4 cents higher at $3.65 1/4.



Soybean futures closed higher on Friday after a choppy trading session. Commercial buying on the break supported prices despite mostly bearish news. Weekly export sales were a marketing year low, although it was a holiday week, and growing conditions remain favorable in South America. March ended 6 cents higher at $6.81 1/2 and November was 5 1/2 cents higher at $7.27.



Wheat futures closed a few cents higher on Friday. Following the recent sharp drop of more than 50 cents since Christmas, wheat futures finally managed a short covering bounce. However, export demand remains slow with only 5 million reported last week, although Christmas did hamper activity. CBOT Mar was 2 3/4 cents higher at $4.70 1/4. KCBT Mar was up 4 cents at $4.81 1/4 while MGE Mar gained 3/4 of a cent to close at $4.87.



Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday. Front months were higher while deferreds ended lower. Weather concerns continue to underpin the front months. Current forecasts are calling for another winter storm around mid January along with colder weather in the Plains. Higher beef cutout values and expectations for higher cash prices also provided support. February climbed 35 points to close at $92.57. The April contract was 52 points higher at $94.12. January feeder cattle closed down 82 points at $98.65.



Lean hog futures struggled to a mixed close on Friday with nearbys posting modest gains while deferred months lost ground. The market was supported by steady to higher cash prices and ideas that demand for hogs would pick up next week with packers' margins improving and a full five-day work week. February ended up 10 cents at $60.40. June closed up 8 cents at $72.40.