U.S. lean hog futures fell sharply again on Monday, extending a selloff from Friday as pork prices continue to fall well behind last year's levels. June hog futures tumbled 150 to close at 88.72, and the July contract lost 115 to close at 89.37.
Live cattle futures finished the session mixed as a building rally in beef prices helped offset lingering signs of slowing beef demand. April live cattle futures closed up 20 at $120, April feeders fell 17 to close at $150.
U.S. grain and soybean futures dropped Monday, as market participants booked profits and rain in the U.S. improved crop-planting conditions. Lingering concerns about slowing Chinese economic growth also weighed on soybean futures Monday.
Soybean futures led the declines, settling near a two-week low, as traders took profits off the table after futures climbed to over 7-month highs last week. Losses in both corn and wheat were limited, as there remains enough uncertainty ahead of a long growing season to temper an outright selloff, analysts added. May soybeans ended down 16 3/4 at $14.20, May corn ended down 6 at $6.23, May wheat in Chicago fell 7 1/4 to $6.16, and May wheat in KC ended down 12 1/2 at $6.30.
May cotton futures plunged by the exchange-permitted 4c/pound daily limit as Friday's option expiration and improving weather conditions in Texas, the country's largest producing state, pressured prices. May fell to 88.08, the July contract fell 248 to close at 87.25.
Gold futures ended lower Monday, as pressure from the stronger dollar continued to weigh on trader sentiment. June gold fell $10.50 to $1,649.70, June silver lost .11 cents to $31.40.
U.S. oil futures edged higher, but Brent crude fell sharply after talks with Iran left the door open to a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. May crude gained 10 cents to $102.93 a barrel, May gasoline plunged 7.91 cents to $3.26 a gallon, and May distillates fell 5.80 to $3.11 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures rebounded Monday to settle above $2 following four days of losses. May nat gas futures gained 3.5 cents to $2.01.
The Dow rose more than 100 points on Monday but gave back some of the gains, buoyed by big consumer staples stocks as Wall Street turned defensive, while the broader market fell. The Dow gained 71 to close at 12,921, the Nasdaq closed at 2,988, down 22 and the S&P 500 lost a fraction to close at 1,369.