Corn futures staged a strong closing rally to end the year in positive fashion. Concerns about the recent warm, dry weather pattern in Argentina provided fundamental support helping to offset weakness attributable to disappointing weekly export sales. March corn futures closed up 4 3/4 cents at $2.15 3/4.

Soybean futures bounced higher in late trading Friday after selling off sharply Thursday. The weekly Export Sales report was positive for soybeans reflecting sales of nearly 33 million bushels with China accounting for more than half of the new business. January soybeans closed 4 1/4 cents higher $6.02 and March was up 4 3/4 at $6.13 1/2.

Wheat futures staged a late rally to close higher Friday after spending most of the day in the loss column. Short covering sparked the late flurry of strength with spillover from a closing rally in corn and soybeans lending support. Chicago March wheat was up 2 cents at $3.39 1/4. KC March gained 1 3/4 cents to $3.87 and MGE March 4 cents higher at $3.92.

Cattle futures rebounded from early weakness to finish mostly higher Friday, closing on the upper end of the daily trading range. Cash cattle traded in the $94 to $95.50 range, down a dollar from last week. February live cattle futures closed 2 points lower at $96.37 while April was up 37 points at $95.05.

Lean hog futures finished the week and the year on a positive note finding support from the Hogs and Pigs report that came out midweek and modest gains in cash prices. April lean hogs finished the day at $68.48, up 35 points and the June hog contract posted a gain of 55 points to close at $72.33.