Corn futures were choppy on Friday ahead of the holiday weekend. The CBOT will be closed on Monday for New-Years and on Tuesday in honor of President Ford. Strong demand continues to underpin the market. Weekly export sales were above expectations at 45.4 million bushels. Commitments for the year are 39% ahead of year-ago. March ended 1 3/4 cents higher at $3.90 1/4 and December '07 was 1 cent higher at $3.74 3/4.



Soybean futures ended higher on Friday. Late in the session, prices jumped in thin volume. The market was underpinned by strong export demand and ideas that corn will take acreage from soybeans this spring. Export sales are running 35% above year-ago. January ended 7 3/4 cents higher at $6.83 1/2 and November was 5 1/2 cents higher at $7.40.



Wheat futures closed mostly lower on Friday. Sluggish export demand and crop friendly precipitation weighed on the market. Losses were extended when the CBOT Mar contract slipped below $5, but prices were able to rebound ahead of the close. CBOT Mar ended 3 1/4 cents lower at $5.01, KCBT Mar was 2 1/2 cents lower at $5.09 3/4, while the MGE Mar was 6 1/4 cents higher at $5.18 1/2.



Cattle futures ended mostly lower on Friday. Strength in the cash market helped rally the expiring December contract, but deferreds were slightly lower with profit-taking ahead of year end weighing on prices. The markets will be closed on Monday for New Years and next Tuesday in honor of President Ford. February ended 5 cents lower at $92.50 and April was 10 cents lower at $93.78. January feeder cattle were 30 cents higher at $99.60.



Lean hog futures ended lower on Friday. Weakness in the cash market and pork cutouts weighed on futures ahead of the extended weekend. Futures premium to cash and the now negative packer margins were bearish factors. February closed 35 cents lower at $61.70 and April was 25 cents lower at $65.53.