U.S. livestock futures faced deep losses on Monday due to signs of slower growth in foreign markets and concerns that seasonal demand patterns could force cash markets lower, hog futures were sharply lower on building concerns that traders have overestimated the strength of demand this spring.
April lean hog futures fell 1 to 89.42, June hog futures also fell 1 to 98.50. April Live Cattle fell 155 to $128, March Feeders fell 165 to $156.
Wheat futures ended mixed Monday, pressured by the declines in soybean futures and ongoing strong global supplies. March wheat in Chicago fell 3 to $6.67, March wheat in KC dropped 5 to $7.05.
US corn futures ended higher, rallying on tight cash markets and technical buying by funds. May corn rose 5 3/4 to $6.60.
US soybean prices retreated, ending lower for the first time in 11 trading days as traders took profits. May soybeans ended down 8 to $13.25; May soybean oil ended down 35 to 53.73, and May soybean meal fell $0.90 to $358.20.
ICE cotton futures jumped after India announced a ban on cotton exports, even for sales already on the books, but robust global supplies may soften the blow from the surprise announcement. March cotton gained 525 to 92.71, while the more-actively traded May contract closed at 92.23, locked for most of the day by the exchange-permitted daily limit of 400 higher.
Gold futures settled a touch above $1,700 after a volatile trading day that saw prices temporarily slip below the key price for the third time in four trading days. April gold fell $5.90 to $1,703.90 an ounce, May silver fell 83 cents to end at $33.69.
Crude futures ended near flat Monday as investors weighed a meeting between the leaders of U.S. and Israel to discuss Iran, and China cut its target for economic growth. April crude gained 2 cents to $106.72 a barrel, April gasoline fell 1.41 cents to $3.25 a gallon, and April distillates gained 1.56 cents to $3.21 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures settled more than 5% lower and just a few cents above 10-year lows on Monday, as fresh weather forecasts show above-normal temperatures spreading across most of the U.S. into the second half of March. April nat gas futures fell 12.9 cents to $2.35.
On Wall Street, stocks fell on Monday for the second straight session and the third in the last four trading days, led lower by basic materials shares after China trimmed its growth target for 2012. The Dow fell 14 to close at 12,962, the Nasdaq closed at 2,950, down 25 and the S&P 500 dropped 5 to close at 1,364.