U.S. lean-hog futures finished mostly higher Monday on expectations of improved demand, with gains somewhat offset by swelling hog supplies. April lean hog futures gained 7 to 81.30, June futures added 5 to 91.57.
U.S. live-cattle futures settled modestly lower Monday, as traders awaited further confirmation that retail demand for beef is on the rise. Feeder-cattle prices, meanwhile, rallied to a nearly two-month high amid a sharp decline in futures prices for corn.
April live-cattle fell 15 to $128 June live-cattle dropped 27 to $124, April feeder-cattle futures gained 212 to $145.
At the livestock auction held Friday in Siler City a total of 1,003 cattle and 121 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended 50 cents to 15.00 lower; bulls were steady. M&L 1-2 feeder steers, 400-600 lbs., trended 3.00 to 15.00 higher; heifers were steady to 15.00 higher. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $61-$82.50, with high dressing up to $89. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold from $91-$99.50, with high dressing ranging $102-$108.
U.S. corn futures settled sharply down for a second straight session Monday, with selling continuing after a government report last week showed higher-than-expected domestic corn stockpiles. Soybean and wheat futures fell on the drop in corn, as well as continued pressure from supply levels of soybeans and wheat also being reported at levels above expectations last week in the USDA report.
May corn fell 53 to $6.42, May wheat in Chicago fell 23 3/4 to $6.64, May wheat in KC fell 17 to $7.09 and May soybeans fell 14 to $13.90.
U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended mostly 33 to 53 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.67-$7.27 at feed mills and $6.62-$7.27 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended nine to 24 cents lower and were $14.30 at processors, and $13.51-$13.90 at elevators. U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat trended 22 to 24 cents lower, quoting $5.69-$6.44 at elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $438.50 per ton for 48% protein.
Fruit and vegetable prices (shipping point f.o.b.): Greens: Demand moderate. Market about steady. Some shippers experiencing a production gap. Wide range in prices. Various containers bunched/loose Kale $10-$16, Collard, Mustard, and Turnip Tops $7-$8 some $6.50. Sweet Potatoes: Demand fairly light. Market about steady. 40 pound cartons Orange Types U.S. No. 1 $13-$15 some $12 few higher and lower, U.S. No. 1 Petite $10-$12 few higher and lower, U.S. No. 2 $7-$9 mostly $8 few lower occasional higher, No Grade Marks jumbo $6-$8 mostly $6-$7 few lower occasional higher.
Cotton futures slipped Monday as traders took profits from a recent rally. May cotton fell 107 to 87.39, and December new crop dropped 44 to 86.93.
Gold prices rose on Monday, as buyers stepped in when futures prices dropped to one-week lows, while silver hit a seven-month low after Chinese and U.S. economic data underlined worries about demand. June gold rose $5.20 to $1,600.90, and May silver closed at $27.94, down 37.9 cents
Global benchmark oil prices diverged sharply Monday, with North Sea Brent crude gaining on concerns over the shutdown of a U.S. pipeline in the key Gulf Coast refining region. U.S. crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 16 cents lower, at $97.07 a barrel, May distillates gained 2.17 cents to $3.06 a gallon, while May gasoline fell a fraction to $3.10 a gallon.
Natural gas futures finished lower Monday, as weather forecasts call for milder temperatures in the coming month, signaling a possible end to the recent demand spike. May Natural gas fell a fraction to $4.01.
On Wall Street, stocks fell in one of the lightest volume days of the year, pulling back after the S&P’s record closing high last week and weather than expected manufacturing data. The Dow fell 5 to close at 14,572, the Nasdaq closed at 3,239, down 28 and the S&P 500 fell 7 to start the quarter at 1,562.