Corn futures closed solidly higher on Friday. The market turned higher on a bullish 2011 acreage estimate. A private firm estimated acreage at 90.8 million acres compared to a previous estimate of 93.1 million. However, that would still be 2.6 million acres above a year-ago. The market was also supported by an estimate from an analyst in China that estimated corn imports to China could be up as much as 1.7 million tonnes from previous forecasts. March ended 9 cents higher at $5.96 1/2 and May was 8 3/4 cents higher at $6.04 1/4.
Soybean futures turned higher on Friday. An acreage estimate from a private firm of 75.8 million acres was bullish as it was down from a previous forecast of 77.6 million acres. Soybean acreage in 2010 was 77.7 million. The market was able to trade higher despite strength in the dollar. January closed 9 3/4 cents higher at $12.98 3/4 and March was 10 cents higher at $13.10 1/2.
Wheat futures traded higher on Friday. The market was pulled higher by strength in corn and soybeans. Export news was supportive this week as the weekly export sales report was above expectations and Egypt and Jordan made purchases. Further gains were limited by strength in the dollar. CBOT March was 7 cents higher at $7.56 3/4, KCBT March closed 8 1/2 cents higher at $8.11 3/4 and MGE March ended 6 3/4 cents higher at $8.42.
Cattle futures closed higher on Friday. The market was supported by short-covering ahead of the Cattle on Feed report, which was released after the close. Boxed beef prices were lower much of the week, but choice cutouts at midday were up $1.79. The rally in beef prices could help stabilize the cash market next week following lower bids this week. February ended 98 cents higher at $104.50 and April was 80 cents higher at $108.15.
Lean hog futures traded solidly higher on Friday. Speculative buying was attributed to ideas of improved export demand for pork. Sales of ham to Russia and Mexico may be seasonal, but pork cutouts were able to rebound by 99 cents on Thursday. Reduced slaughter the next couple of weeks could limit any strength in the cash market, but reduced supplies should help support pork prices. February closed $1.38 higher at $75.95 and April ended $1.53 higher at $80.48.