U.S. lean-hog futures closed mostly lower Tuesday, held back by the front-month contract's premium to cash prices. December hog futures slipped 1 to 82.37, February futures, the most actively traded contract, shed 25 to 86.72.
U.S. live-cattle futures finished mixed Tuesday, after making technical gains in early trading in-line with Friday's eight-month high for the spot contract. December live-cattle edged down 2 to $123, February live cattle, the most-active contract, fell 7 to $132.
At the 3 livestock auctions held Monday at Canton, Turnersburg and Siler City a total of 2031 cattle and 37 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $1.50 to $5.00 higher, feeder steers trended $1.00 to $10.00 higher, and heifers trended steady to $9.00 higher when compared to last week’s sales.
U.S. wheat futures rose to a two-week closing high Tuesday, buoyed by concerns about unfavorable weather conditions for crops growing in the U.S. Great Plains. Soybean futures settled higher for the third straight session, rallying on concerns about dry conditions for some of Brazil's newly planted crops, and corn traded higher Tuesday, buoyed by the rally in wheat prices and underlying technical support.
March wheat in Chicago climbed 24 3/4 to $8.88. March wheat in KC rose 31 1/2 to $9.33, January soybeans finished up 24 1/2 at $14.49 and March corn finished up 12 3/4 to $7.64.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 13 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.50-$8.34 at feed mills and $7.45-7.90 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 20 to 25 cents higher and were $14.29 at processors, and $13.65-$14.19 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $494.30 per ton for 48% protein.
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 151.57, Large 153.12, Medium 122.86, and Small 102.00.
ICE cotton futures ended lower in thin trading. March cotton lost 52 to 72.52, and the May contract fell 17 to 73.28.
Gold prices settled lower Tuesday as some investors chose to lock in profits on the metal's recent rally while others left the market amid pressure from a stronger dollar. December gold fell $7.30 to $1,742.30, and December silver closed at $33.98, down 15.6 cents.
Crude-oil futures slid slightly Tuesday on disappointment over the Greek debt-relief deal. The oil industry has been scrutinizing developments out of Europe, fearing that the crisis would sour the region's economy and reduce demand for raw materials such as crude oil. January crude fell 56 cents to $87.18 a barrel, December gasoline gained a fraction to at $2.73 a gallon, and December distillates fell 3.71 cents to $3.00 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures settled modestly higher Tuesday in a partial recovery from the previous day's sharp selloff. December natural-gas gained 3.9 cents to $3.76.
On Wall Street, stocks slipped Tuesday in a choppy session, losing ground after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed disappointment that there has been "little progress" in dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff. The Dow fell 89 to 12,878, the Nasdaq closed at 2,967, down 9 and the S&P 500 dropped 7 to 1,398.