Corn futures closed higher Friday. The market is under pressure on continued global economic uncertainty. Sluggish export demand is also a bearish factor. Talk that Brazilian wheat is being imported into the U.S. for feed is weighing on prices as traders fear livestock demand is shifting to other less expensive options. Losses were limited by strength in soybeans and weakness in the dollar index. December was 7 cents lower at $6.38 1/2 and March was also 7 cents lower at $6.47 3/4.
Soybean futures finished higher Friday. Thursday's dip to a one-month low triggered short-covering as traders saw an opportunity to lock in bargain prices. Weakness in the dollar and strength in the stock market added support. Gains were limited by global economic uncertainty and by USDA raising its ending stocks estimate more than expected earlier this week. January was 8 cents higher at $11.66 and March was also 8 cents higher at $11.75 1/2.
Wheat futures ended mixed Friday. Winter wheat futures were trading lower on talk that wheat from Brazil is being imported into the U.S. for feed. Spillover weakness from corn also weighed on futures. But losses were limited by weakness in the dollar index. The MGE was mixed as tight spring wheat supplies continue to be a supportive factor. CBOT December was 3 1/4 cents lower at $6.16 3/4, KCBT December was 7 1/4 cents lower at $7.04 1/4 and MGE December was 11 1/4 cents lower at $9.34 1/4.
Cattle futures finished lower Friday. Uncertainty over the beef demand outlook as we approach the holiday season weighed on prices, as consumers shift demand to the more traditional holiday items of ham and turkey. The weakness came despite strength in the cash market this week. Cash trade was reported at $124 to $127 this week, hitting new record highs for cash trade. Slaughterhouses continue to buy heavily despite the big negative packer margins. December was $1.05 lower at $120.55 and February was 93 cents lower at $122.73.
Lean hog futures closed higher Friday. Pork prices turned higher on Thursday and remained steady on Friday, giving traders some optimism that strong export demand will be able to support pork prices despite increased supplies. There is talk of renewed export business as China and Japan take advantage of recent price weakness to purchase pork for their holidays. Adding support this week were higher pork plant margins, which were reportedly up to $9.05/head in the Midwest. December was 70 cents higher at $86.45 and February was 48 cents higher at $87.75.
Cotton futures are trading lower at midday. Profit taking from Thursday's gains is pressuring prices as well as concerns over the European economic outlook and its possible effects on the rest of the world. Losses are limited by the huge export sales to China recorded in Thursday's report.