Lean hog futures were up strongly on Friday. Talk of continued strong export demand and pork prices hitting the highest level of the year on Thursday supported the market. Strong gains in cattle help hog futures extend gains. Packer margins remain strong and cash markets have been slowly improving this week. USDA's quarterly Hogs and Pigs report was released after the close. April closed $2.15 higher at $92.48 and June was $2.53 higher at $103.70.
Corn futures closed lower on Friday. Futures were up solidly overnight and were higher on the open, but futures turned lower on profit-taking from recent gains. Recent support has been generated from rumors that China was buying U.S. corn. USDA reported the sale of nearly 50 million bushels of sales to an "unknown destination" this morning, which is believed to be China. However, traders seemed to "buy-the-rumor, sell-the-fact". May was 13 cents lower at $6.89 1/2 and December ended 9 1/4 cents lower at $6.09 1/2.
Soybean futures traded higher on Friday. The market was initially supported by strength in corn, but gains in soybeans held despite corn and wheat turning lower. Soybean found support in reports of rain in Argentina and forecast for more rain in northern Brazil that will slow harvest progress there. New-crop was supported by positioning ahead of the Prospective Plantings report due out on March 31. May closed 3 3/4 cents higher at $13.58 1/4 and July was 4 cents higher at $13.68 1/2.