Corn futures rally on Friday

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Corn futures closed strongly higher on Friday. Fund buying was triggered by rumors that China had bought U.S. corn. However, gains in new-crop were limited by the increased acreage estimates. Gains in crude oil were supportive although strength in the dollar index was negative. The Supply/Demand report was neutral to bearish this morning. USDA left ending stocks unchanged at 801 million bushels, but traders were looking for a small decline. May ended 91/2 cents higher at $6.45 and December was 5 1/4 cents higher at $5.62 1/2.

Soybean futures closed mixed on Friday. Nearby contracts were pressured by prof-taking after hitting 5 1/2 month highs. The market rallied this morning despite the neutral to bearish Supply/Demand report. USDA left the ending stocks estimate unchanged at 275 million bushels while traders were looking for a decline. But new-crop months were supported by USDA cutting the South American soybean crop estimates even further, which has tightened the world supply/demand outlook. May was 3/4 of a cent lower at $13.37 3/4 while November was 5 3/4 cents higher at $13.05 1/4.  

Wheat futures traded higher on Friday. After closing lower for the previous four sessions, the market was able to rebound. Strength in corn and the supportive Supply/Demand report pushed prices higher. USDA lowered U.S. ending stocks to 825 million bushels from 845 million last month thanks to increased exports. Global wheat ending stocks were lowered 3.5 million metric tons thanks to increased global wheat consumption. However, gains were limited by strength in the dollar index and forecast for rain in the HRW and spring wheat growing regions of the Plains. CBOT May closed 8 1/4 cents higher at $6.43, KCBT May was 5 3/4 cents higher at $6.84 and MGE May ended 1 1/2 cents higher at $8.05.

Cattle futures were lower on Friday. The market was pressured by strength in the dollar, weakness in boxed beef prices and ideas of rising beef supplies. Rising cattle weights and increased beef imports are expected to increase beef supplies. April ended 63 cents lower at $126.03 and June was 90 cents lower at $123.60.

Lean hog futures traded mostly lower on Friday. Deferred contracts were pressured by the weak tone in the cash market and the $1.43 decline in pork cutout values. Strength in the dollar index was a bearish factor for pork exports. But the April contract was able to turn higher into the close on pre-weekend short-covering and ideas that market ready hog supplies are set to tighten, which would support the cash market. April closed 8 cents higher at $87.83 while June was 23 cents lower at $95.33.



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