U.S. lean-hog futures finished mixed as traders weighed two days of technical gains against runaway growth in supplies that led to the biggest losses in August in 10 years. October lean hogs closed higher, but very near unchanged, at 74.17, December hogs rose 60 to 72.40
Live-cattle futures closed Friday mostly higher after beef processors paid higher prices for cattle in cash markets, pointing to stronger-than-expected demand. October live cattle gained 52 to $126, December and February contracts also were higher.
At the livestock auctions held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 489 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $3.50 to $4.00 higher, feeder steers were $17.00 to $19.00 lower, and feeder heifers were $9.00 to $11.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales.
US grain and soybean futures ended lower, as traders took profits on prior gains ahead of a three-day weekend. Profit-taking was the theme throughout the grain complex, as markets were ripe with profits and lacked any fresh supportive news. November soybeans finished down 10 1/4 at $17.53; December wheat in Chicago closed down 16 at $8.87, December wheat in KC dropped 10 to $906, and December corn fell 9 to $7.99.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended mixed, mostly 9 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.80-$8.75 at feed mills and $7.84-8.35 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 7 cents lower and were $18.16 at processors, and $17.07-$18.04 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 9 cents lower. Prices were $7.65-$7.90 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $607.10 per ton for 48% protein.
N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is moderate. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 135.16, Large 132.84, Medium 98.08, and Small 83.00
Cotton futures climbed in August, the first month of the new 2012-13 marketing year, despite a massive global surplus. December new crop cotton gained 32 to 77.26, and near-month October gained 33 to finish the month at $76.48.
Gold futures climbed to a five-month high Friday, capping the largest monthly gain since January as investors bet that Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's defense of the central bank's previous easy-money policies was a signal that more easing was ahead. December gold rose $30.50 to $1,687.60, and December silver closed at $31.44, up 99.6 cents.
Oil prices rose on Friday after a closely watched speech by the Federal Reserve chairman that left the door open to additional stimulus, but stopped short of announcing a specific plan. October crude settled at $96.47 a barrel, up $1.85, September gasoline, which expired Friday, settled at $3.10 a gallon, up 2.3 cents, October contract settled at $2.97 a gallon, up 6.48 cents. September distillates, which also expired Friday, settled at $3.17 a gallon, up 4.5 cents, and the October contract settled at $3.18 a gallon, up 4.5 cents.
Natural-gas futures rose Friday as forecasts for warmer temperatures raised the prospect of increased gas demand over the Labor Day weekend. October Natural gas rose 5.1 cents to $2.79.
On Wall Street stocks rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, expressing ‘grave concern’ for the stagnating US job market, said the central bank was prepared to take further steps to strengthen the economy if necessary. The Dow gained 90 to finish the week at 13,090, the Nasdaq closed at 3,066 up 18 and the S&P 500 gained 7 to finish the month at 1,406.