Corn futures rebounded from early weakness to close a few cents higher Friday. A private estimate pegging corn acreage at 87.8 million acres was on the low side of market expectations contributing to a recovery rally from the recent steep setback. May corn closed 1 3/4 cents higher at $3.99 1/2 and December was 5 1/2 cents higher at 4.03.



Soybean futures were also higher on Friday bolstered by short covering and renewed speculative support despite a private acreage forecast of 70.4 million acres that was a couple million acres above recent market expectations. Ideas that the recent technical washout is over contributed to short covering. May soybeans closed 3 cents higher at $7.53 1/2 and November was 3 1/2 cents higher at $7.93 1/2.



Wheat futures rebounded strongly from early weakness to post solid closing gains Friday. Expectations for lower spring wheat acreage and the recovery rally in corn and soybeans provided support after a steep selloff during the past week had left the market oversold. CBOT May was 5 1/4 cents higher at $4.60 3/4, KCBT May was 6 3/4 cents higher at $4.86 1/2, and MGE May was also 6 3/4 cents higher at $5.03 1/2.



Cattle futures were sharply lower on Friday, pressured by heavy speculative long liquidation amid ideas that the market has topped. Cash cattle traded at $98 in the southern Plains Thursday, down $2 from Wednesday's Nebraska market. April futures closed down $1.95 at $97.10 and June was $1.47 lower at $94.27.



Lean hog futures were also down sharply, reflecting recent weakness in cash prices and the futures market premium to the lean hog index. The recent steep break in cattle contributed to speculative selling pressure in the hogs as well. April lean hog futures fell $1.47 to close at $64.40 and the June contract was $1.32 lower at $74.57.