Lean hog futures took back some sharp prior-day losses following a rise in wholesale pork prices and a mildly supportive supply report. May hog futures closed up 52 at 88.02, June hog futures finished up 4 at 87.80.
U.S. live cattle futures opened the week lower on Monday, forced lower by a selloff in outside markets and warning signs in a government supply report. April live Cattle closed down 75 to $119, April feeder cattle fell 70 to $149.
Corn and winter wheat futures closed higher, boosted by risk of frost damage to US crops in coming weeks if temperatures drop. Support also comes from signs of Chinese demand, as China customs data show 1Q corn imports surged to nearly the volume imported in all of 2011, and 1Q wheat imports from the US surged more than fifty-fold to 120,299 metric tons. May corn closed up 10 at $6.22, May wheat in Chicago rose 9 1/4 to $6.25, while May wheat in KC gained 9 1/4 to $6.35. May soybeans fell 9 1/2 to $14.37, down from a seven-month closing high Friday, while May soy meal fell $6.20 to $399.80; and May soy oil fell 74 to 55.09.
Cotton futures advanced as the idea of tightness in the market later this year, despite the global surplus, gains credence. May cotton gained 36 to 90.40, while July, the more actively traded contract, closed up 147 at 92.48.
Disappointing global economic data and anxiety about Europe's debt crisis drew investors to the safety of the U.S. dollar Monday, denting demand for gold and pushing the precious metal to its lowest price in more than two weeks. June gold fell $10.20 to $1,632.60, May Silver fell $1.11 to $30.53.
U.S. crude futures slumped Monday as political uncertainty in Europe coupled with disappointing data stung equities markets and signaled that falling oil demand is likely to continue. June crude dropped 77 cents to $103.11 a barrel, May gasoline gained 4.46 cents to $3.18 a gallon, and May distillates gained a fraction to $3.13 a gallon.
Natural gas futures jumped Monday returning to levels above $2 for the first time in a week, after a wintry storm hit the East Coast and led to some late-season demand for gas used for heating. May Natural gas gained 8 cents to $2.00.
On Wall Street U.S. stocks fell on Monday as political turmoil in Europe cast doubts on the bloc's ability to push through measures to end its debt crisis and as Wal-Mart sank following a report it stymied a bribery probe. The Dow fell 102 to close at 12,927, the Nasdaq closed at 2,970, down 30 and the S&P 500 fell 11 to close at 1,366.