U.S. lean-hog futures finished mostly lower, as traders looked ahead to a possible uptick in hog supplies, given the cooler costs of feed grains, and uncertain pork demand from export outlets. April hogs gained 5 to 81.22, June hog futures declined 35 to 89.50
U.S. live-cattle futures tumbled to new lows Wednesday, after cash cattle traded hands below week-ago levels. Feeder-cattle futures followed live-cattle lower. April live-cattle futures fell 145 to $125, April feeder-cattle fell 212 to$140
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 727 cattle and 40 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended 2.00 to 3.00 lower; bulls were steady to 2.00 higher. M&L 1-2 feeder steers, 400-600 lbs., trended steady to 2.00 lower; heifers were steady to 13.00 lower. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $75-$86, with high dressing up to $92. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold from $91.50-$99.50.
U.S. corn futures erased earlier losses to settle higher Wednesday, boosted by concerns about relatively tight domestic supplies. Wheat and soybean futures were lower as trading ended, due to high world supply forecasts by the USDA. May corn futures gained 4 3/4 to $6.49, May wheat in Chicago fell 12 to $6.96, May wheat in KC fell 16 ½ to $7.30, and May soybean futures fell 2 3/4 to $13.92.
U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended five cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.94-$7.34 at feed mills and $6.69-$7.29 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended two to three cents lower and were $14.32 at processors, and $13.53-$13.93 at elevators. U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat trended nine to 12 cents lower, quoting $6.03 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $432.90 per ton for 48% protein.
North Carolina’s egg prices trended lower on extra large and large, steady on the balance. Supplies of extra large and large are heavy, medium and small are moderate. Retail demand is light. The North Carolina weighted average price for small lot sales of delivered, cartoned, grade “A” eggs was 128.56 for Extra Large, 121.41 for Large, 100.86 for Medium, and 78.00 for Small eggs.
Cotton futures gained Wednesday, with the May contract closing at 86.11, up 147, as available global stocks of the fiber continued to tighten due to a strong appetite for the fiber from No. 1 consumer China. December new crop gained 78 to 86.57.
Gold slumped Wednesday in the largest decline since November as details from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed more discussion on throttling back on the central bank's easy-money policies. June gold fell $27.90 to $1,558.80 an ounce, and May silver closed at $27.65, down 22.80 cents
Gasoline futures tumbled Wednesday after a government report showed an unexpected increase in U.S. stockpiles as refiners churn out more fuel in the face of weak demand. Oil futures were mixed. May gasoline fell 7.73 cents to $2.86 a gallon, May crude gained 44 cents to $94.64 a barrel, and May distillates fell 1.34 cents to $2.94 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures rose Wednesday as investors looked to forecasts showing colder U.S. temperatures over the next week that will likely increase gas-fired heating demand. May Natural gas gained 6.8 cents to $4.08.
On Wall Street, stocks climbed 1 percent on Wednesday, with both the Dow and S&P ending at historic highs as cyclical shares led the way for a second straight day. The Dow gained 128 to 14,802, the Nasdaq closed at 3,297, up 59, and the S&P 500 gained 19 to close at 1,587.