Corn futures were sharply higher in old-crop contracts on Friday, according to Doane agricultural Services analysts. The market traded up the 45 cent expanded limit at times, although light profit-taking trimmed gains ahead of the close. Futures were supported by the smaller-than-expected March 1 USDA Grain Stocks estimate released Thursday. New-crop was been pulled higher as well, although gains were limited. USDA’s Prospective Plantings number, also released Thursday, was slightly above trade expectations. May closed 42 3/4 cents higher at $7.36 and December was 12 1/4 cents higher at $6.37 1/2.

Soybean futures closed lower on Friday. The market was pressured by China canceling some orders for soybean from the U.S. With the newly harvested crop making it to export markets in Brazil and Argentina, competition will be strong for export sales. But losses were limited by the need to attract more acreage this spring as ending stocks projections will be very tight following USDA’s lower-than-expected Prospective Plantings number. May ended 16 1/2 cents lower at $13.93 3/4 and November was 5 3/4 cents lower at $13.89 1/4.

Wheat futures traded slightly lower on Friday. Profit-taking from the strong gains on Thursday weighed lightly on the market. USDA's Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports were on the bearish side of trade expectations. However, losses were limited by spillover strength in corn and on continued dry weather and poor winter wheat crop conditions in the southern Plains. CBOT May closed 3 3/4 cents lower at $7.59 1/2, KCBT May was 1 1/2 cents lower at $9.06 1/2 and MGE May ended 1 1/4 cents lower at $9.22 1/2.

Lean hog futures were mixed on Friday. Firm pork prices and strength in the stock market helped support the nearby contract. But deferreds were pressured by profit-taking following the rally this week to new all-time highs. However, fundamentals are generally supportive. April closed 50 cents higher at $94.23 while June was 30 cents lower at $103.58.

Source: Doane Agricultural Services