Corn continued sliding Friday morning. Although Thursday’s weekly USDA Export Sales report looked bullish for corn, CBOT prices continued their recent decline through yesterday’s session and into Friday. Talk of rapid spring planting and lower demand resulting from the ongoing ‘bird flu’ outbreak are reportedly weighing on prices. Early news of a big corn sale did little to boost the market. May corn futures sank 5.25 cents to $3.655/bushel late Friday morning, while December lost 5.5 to $3.89.

The soy complex reversed Thursday’s advance. After rallying yesterday in response to news that Brazil’s truckers are once again disrupting transport in that country, the soy complex turned decidedly lower today. A general lack of traction for the strike, as well as prospects for accelerating spring plantings in the U.S., apparently undercut bullish positions. May soybean futures tumbled 8.5 cents to $9.6975/bushel around midsession Friday, while May soyoil slid 0.17 cents to 31.85 cents/pound, and May meal sagged $3.1 to $313.5/ton.

The wheat markets seemed to follow corn and beans lower. The wheat markets were so quiet overnight that they weren’t even mentioned in wire service summaries, thereby suggesting the losses that occurred represented selling spilling over from the other markets. Pre-weekend position squaring may dominate action today, but weather forecast and crop/planting news could drive prices early next week. May CBOT wheat futures slipped 0.75 cent to $4.97/bushel just after dawn Friday, while May KC wheat sagged 1.25 cents to $5.1525/bushel, and May MWE wheat stalled at $5.4525.

Cattle futures turned sharply higher Thursday. Cattle futures didn’t perform well early this week, especially after scattered cash trading at lower levels Wednesday. However, bears couldn’t trigger a hoped for follow-through breakdown Thursday morning, which apparently opened the door for a big reversal. Active short-covering and midsession reports of cash and wholesale strength apparently powered the move. Futures seem likely to open higher, but face technical resistance. June and August cattle futures zoomed up the 3.00-cent daily limit to 149.02 and 147.85 cents/pound, respectively in late Thursday action. Meanwhile, May and August feeder cattle futures rocketed up the expanded 4.50-cent limit and posted respective closes at 211.25 and 212.95 cents/pound.

Resurgent pork quotes spurred big CME hog gains as well. The pork markets performed rather poorly early this week, but midday pork reports confirmed early-morning talk of big Thursday morning gains. That news, along with bullish technical implications of the futures surge, almost surely triggered active Chicago buying. Futures declined in afternoon GLOBEX action, thereby suggesting a weak opening. June hog futures ended Thursday having spiked 2.37 cents to 78.32 cents/pound, while December surged 1.62 to 68.65.