Livestock futures traded on light volume Tuesday as many traders stood on the sidelines waiting for demand signals from the East Coast.
Cattle futures closed higher, gaining support from tightening supplies, as indicated in the USDA Cattle on Feed report. October live cattle rose 52 to $125 while November feeders jumped 112 to $147.
Lean-hog futures also improved, rebounding from Monday's hurricane-induced selloff. December added 3 to 78.10, the February contract gained 62 to 83.87.
At the 3 livestock auctions held Monday at Turnersburg, Canton, and Siler City a total of 1526 cattle and 40 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to $1.50 lower, feeder steers trended mixed and heifers trended $5.00 to $8.50 lower when compared to last week’s sales.
N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is good. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 139.12, Large 139.12, Medium 123.86, and Small 101.00.
U.S. soybean futures rose in thin trading Tuesday on strong cash markets and concerns about unfavorable weather in some regions early in the South American soy growing season. Soybean futures fell on Monday as worries receded about South American weather and as some market participants sold futures to take profits. But futures rose Tuesday as traders said strong U.S. cash markets reflect high demand for tight supplies, justifying high prices. Corn futures rose, pulled higher by soybeans and by weather concerns in South America. Corn planting is behind in some parts of Argentina due to excessive rain. Nearby wheat futures fell slightly, as a lack of fresh news led to little change in prices. Traders are waiting to see if export demand for U.S. wheat will pick up after weeks of slow sales.
November soybeans gained 6 1/2 to $15.33, December corn gained 4 3/4 to $7.41, December wheat in Chicago fell 1 1/4 to $8.56 3 and December wheat in KC fell 1 to $9.02.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 4 to 5 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.31-$8.16 at feed mills and $7.26-7.72 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mixed and were $15.23 at processors, and $14.79-$14.88 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $536.00 per ton for 48% protein.
Gold futures locked in modest gains Tuesday as trading volumes remained subdued in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. December gold gained $3.40, to $1,712.10 and December silver closed at $31.81, up 7.1 cents.
After rallying Monday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, gasoline futures retreated Tuesday on concerns about lower energy consumption. Tuesday's trading was a reversal of the outcome Monday, when the market bid up gasoline in anticipation of potential damage to Northeastern refineries but priced crude oil lower due to reduced crude demand from refineries. On Tuesday, however, analysts said the greater concern was over lower gasoline consumption due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy across a wide swath of the U.S.
Gasoline futures settled at $2.72 a gallon, down 2.8 cents, December crude jumped 14 cents to $85.68 a barrel.
Natural-gas futures tumbled Tuesday in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, as power outages for millions of people curtail utilities' gas demand. December Natural gas was down 11.8 cents to $3.68.
The New York and Nymex Exchanges were closed again on Tuesday, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but are expected to reopen today.