U.S. lean-hog futures finished mixed, with multi-month lows in the spot contract driven by lower prices for cash hogs and uncertainty about requirements for U.S. pork exports to China. April hog futures, fell 10 to 82.95, and the May contract fell 37 to 90.37.
U.S. live-cattle futures declined sharply Wednesday, tumbling to a one-month closing low for the front-month contract. Prices were pressured by sluggish beef demand, poor beef packer margins and weakness in outside markets. February live-cattle futures fell 13 to $125, April futures shed 132 to $128
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 382 cattle and 46 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended mostly steady to 2.00 higher; bulls were 3.00 to 4.00 lower.
U.S. soybean futures rose for the second straight session Wednesday, settling at their highest level in two weeks amid strong export demand for the oilseed. Soybeans are bouncing back from last week's slide, bolstered by continued strength in demand from both foreign importers and domestic processors. The pace of export sales and domestic processing is raising concerns that already tight U.S. supplies will be further squeezed. U.S. corn and wheat futures also rose Wednesday, drawing support from soybeans, with wheat also buoyed by a fresh export sale to Egypt.
March soybeans gained 12 1/2 to $14.82, March corn ended up 5 1/4 at $7.00, March wheat in Chicago ended up 6 1/4 at $7.38, and Kansas City Board of Trade March wheat rose 8 1/to $7.77 .
North Carolina’s egg prices trended steady on all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is moderate. The North Carolina weighted average price for small lot sales of delivered, cartoned, grade “A” eggs was 126.14 for Extra Large, 123.04 for Large, 97.86 for Medium, and 83.00 for Small eggs.
U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended five to six cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.20-$7.85 at feed mills and $7.16-$7.80 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended mostly 12 to 13 cents higher and were $14.92 at processors, and $14.22-$14.63 at elevators. New crop U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat was $6.38-$7.32. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $478.60 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures rose on expectations for strong buying for China now that last week's Lunar New Year holiday is over. But with the higher prices, some cotton bulls may shy away from the market, says one analyst. March cotton fell 3 to 82.15, and the May contract gained 33 to 84.46.
Gold slumped to a seven-month low Wednesday, extending its earlier losses as details from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting outlined more debate about when to curtail the central bank's stimulus program. April Gold traded down $41.40 to $1,562.80, March silver closed at $28.62, down 80.0 cents.
U.S. crude futures dropped Wednesday on a sharp bout of midmorning selling that also pulled down gasoline prices as some investors grow concerned that high prices at the pump could crimp demand.
Oil fell to the lowest level in over a month, dropping below $95 a barrel after trading volume surged in March and April futures in late morning trade. March crude closed at $94.46 a barrel down $2.20, March gasoline fell 6.17 cents to $3.05 a gallon, March distillates fell 2.43 cents to $3.15 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures rose Wednesday as traders focused on short-term forecasts for colder weather. March Natural gas gained a fraction to $3.27
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street following news that several top Federal Reserve officials are doubtful about continuing the central bank's economic stimulus, and the S&P 500 index had its biggest loss of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 108 points to close at 13,927 points Wednesday, Nasdaq composite fell 49 points to 3,164, and the Standard & Poor's 500 lost nearly 19 points to 1,511.