Corn continued its recent slide Friday. Although Thursday’s weekly USDA Export Sales report looked bullish for corn, CBOT prices continued their recent decline into the weekend. Talk of rapid spring planting and lower demand resulting from the ongoing ‘bird flu’ outbreak clearly depressed prices. Early Friday news of a big corn sale and recent U.S. dollar losses did little to boost the market. May corn futures sank 6.25 cents to $3.645/bushel at Friday’s close, while December lost 6.25 to $3.8825.

The soy complex reversed Thursday’s advance. After rallying yesterday in response to news that Brazil’s truckers are once again disrupting soybean transport in that country, the soy complex turned decidedly lower today. A general lack of traction for the strike, as well as prospects for accelerating spring plantings in the U.S., apparently undercut bullish positions. May soybean futures ended Friday having tumbled 8.5 cents to $9.6975/bushel, while May soyoil slid 0.35 cents to 31.67 cents/pound, and May meal sagged $2.0 to $314.4/ton.

The wheat markets fell in concert with corn and beans. Wheat traders have clearly worried about the impact of dry weather upon the winter wheat crop lately, but those concerns are seemingly being overruled by expectations for accelerated spring wheat plantings. That was exemplified by the fact that today’s wheat losses exceeded those in soybeans. May CBOT wheat futures fell 11.75 cents to $4.86/bushel in late Friday trading, while May KC wheat dove 14.25 cents to $5.0225/bushel, and May MWE wheat dropped 10.25 to $5.35.

Thursday’s surprising cash firmness apparently boosted cattle. Cash and futures prices for fed cattle looked set to take a fresh tumble Thursday morning. However, CME bears proved unable to trigger the expected drop, which in turn appeared to trigger torrid short-covering, a big futures advance and firming prices in the central Plains. Today’s action seemingly represents a bullish follow-through. Conversely, the afternoon USDA Cattle on Feed report looked rather bearish. June cattle futures vaulted 2.17 cents to 151.20 cents/pound as Friday’s CME session ended, while August cattle jumped 1.87 to 149.72. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures soared 2.82 cents to 214.07 cents/pound, and August feeders leapt 2.72 to 215.67.

Pork slippage probably limited CME hog gains. The wholesale strength indicated on Thursday’s late pork reports fell short of the extreme gains stated at noon yesterday, which likely weighed upon prices early Friday morning. Still, the improving hog/pork situation carried prices higher through the close. Conversely, midsession pork quotes showed modest slippage, thereby triggering a setback from morning highs. June hog futures closed up 1.12 cents to 79.45 cents/pound Friday, while December rose 0.25 to 68.90.