Lean hog futures tumbled Friday as signs of slowing import demand from China added to pressure from enduringly weak wholesale pork prices. May hog futures, which were lightly traded, fell 75 to 87.50, June hog futures slid 137 to 87.40.
U.S. live cattle futures finished the week mostly lower as early-session gains succumbed to pressure from a looming pair of government supply reports and a slow-down in wholesale beef prices. April Live Cattle closed down 15 to $120, April feeders fell 75 to close at $150.
US soybean futures surged to close at a more than seven-month high, as traders drove prices up by performing spread trades long soy and short corn or wheat, looking to hold soybeans going into the weekend due to its strong fundamentals. Expectations for more Chinese demand, a smaller South American crop and insufficient US soy acres underpin prices. May soybeans ended up 31 at $14.46, while May soy meal jumped $13.60 to $405.50, and May soy oil gained 0.66 to 55.83.
May corn ended down 8 1/2 at $6.12. May wheat in Chicago fell 9 to $6.15, and May wheat in KC fell 11 1/2 to $6.26.
ICE cotton May fell in low volume Friday as investors rolled into the July contract in a volatile week of trading. May cotton fell 149 to 90.04 while the more-actively traded July contract rose 29 to 91.01.
Gold prices ticked higher on Friday but fell 1% on the week on worries about demand for the metal amid signs of weaker-than-expected buying from top consumer India and uncertain investor appetite for the metal with the latest set of European debt woes. June gold rose $1.40 to $1,642.80 an ounce, and May silver closed at $31.65, down 12.8 cents.
Crude-oil futures ended higher Friday, rising with stock markets and helped by a falling dollar, as improving economic data in Europe led to some hopes for strengthening energy demand. May crude gained 78 cents to $103.05 a barrel, May gasoline fell 1.14 cents to $3.14 a gallon, and May distillates gained 1.25 cents to $3.13 a gallon.
Natural gas futures ended higher, taking a break from their relentless decline, though weather forecasts continue to suggest weak demand for the fuel used for home heating. May Natural gas gained 2 cents to $1.92.
On Wall Street, stocks rose on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on pace for its biggest weekly gain in the past five weeks, led by solid earnings from McDonald's, General Electric and Microsoft. The Dow gained 65 to close at 13,029, the Nasdaq closed at 3,000, down 7 and the S&P 500 gained 1 to close at 1,378.