Corn futures closed higher on Friday. The market was firm early Friday on higher crude oil and a friendly weekly export sales figure. Gains were extended by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast that suggests the current El Nino will quickly transition to La Nina by April. La Nina is associated with a dry bias for the Midwest. March ended 9 1/2 cents higher at $4.17 while new-crop December was 8 3/4 cents higher at $4.13 1/4.



Soybean futures settled higher on Friday. The March and November contracts reached new contract highs in today on the NOAA weather forecast putting a possible La Nina in place for this summer, which could mean dry weather if it follows historic patterns. However, gains were limited by disappointing weekly export sales of only 14 million bushels. March ended 8 1/4 cents higher at $7.67 while November ended the day up 6 cents at $8.16 1/2.



Wheat futures ended higher on Friday. The market posted strong gains with support coming from a report put out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that predicts the current El Nino pattern may give way to a La Nina by April. After bouncing off support on Thursday, technical buying was also a supportive factor. CBOT Mar was up 14 3/4 cents at $4.68. KCBT Mar gained 9 1/4 cents to close at $4.95 1/2 while MGE Mar was 8 3/4 cents higher at $5.05.



Cattle futures closed mixed on Friday. The market staged a late recovery to post a mixed close after trading mixed most of the session. A dip in boxed beef cutout values and forecasts for improving weather in the Plains next week contributed to the defensive market action. But expectations for higher cash cattle prices provided support. February was down 22 points at $93.90 while April was 15 points higher at $96.55. March feeder cattle fell 27 points to close at $100.17.



Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on Friday with the strength attributed to fund buying and short covering ahead of the holiday weekend. Higher corn prices and steady to higher cash hog bids were also supportive, although April was limited by ideas more moderate temperature next week will increase marketings. April ended 20 cents lower at $68.50 while June was 33 cents higher at $78.10.