U.S. lean-hog futures finished modestly higher Friday, supported by expectations that pork demand will soon improve. April hogs rose 22 to 82.02, June hogs declined 42 to 91.60.
U.S. live-cattle futures declined, pressured by concerns about demand for beef by U.S. retailers after a recent jump in wholesale prices. April live-cattle futures fell 75 to $127, June live-cattle futures shed 107 to $123.
At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 403 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $2.00 to $13.00 higher, feeder steers trended steady to $30.50 higher, and heifers trended steady to $10.00 higher when compared to the sale two weeks ago. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $75.00 to $84.00. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $92.00 to $95.00 with high dressing up to $107.00.
U.S. corn futures settled higher after federal forecasters Friday projected tighter-than-expected domestic supplies of the grain this summer, citing strong demand for corn in animal feed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a monthly crop report, left unchanged its forecast for U.S. corn stockpiles as of Aug. 31, the end of the marketing year, to total 632 million bushels. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires on average had expected the USDA to raise its supply forecast to 649 million bushels. Wheat futures were mixed. Prices were lifted by the gains in corn, since wheat can substitute for corn in animal feed, but gains were limited by higher-than-expected wheat supply forecasts in the USDA report.
Soybean futures mostly declined, as the USDA left unchanged its forecast for domestic soybean stocks as of Aug. 31 to total 125 million bushels. Analysts on average had expected a cut to 122 million bushels.
The USDA cut its forecast for U.S. corn exports, but it also raised its forecast for corn usage in animal feed this marketing year by 100 million bushels to 4.55 billion bushels.
May corn gained 12 1/4 to$7.03, May wheat in Chicago rose 1 1/2 to $6.97, May wheat in KC fell ½ to $7.34, and May soybeans fell 2 1/2 to $14.71.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 12 to 13 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.03-$7.89 at feed mills and $7.34-8.05 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mixed and were $15.01 at processors, and $14.31-$14.68 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was 1 cent higher and was mostly $6.77 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $480.20 per ton for 48% protein.
The N.C. egg market is steady on small, higher on the balance. 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 134.77, Large 130.25, Medium 106.77 and Small 83.00.
Cotton futures ended higher after the USDA raised its forecast for U.S. cotton exports this season by 2% from last month to 12.75 million bales. The U.S. is the world's top exporter of cotton. May-delivery cotton gained 136 to 86.88, and December new crop gained 41 to 86.39.
Gold finished with slight gains on Friday as investors who had bet on lower prices cashed out after futures retreated to two-week lows. April gold rose $1.80 to $1,576.90, and April silver gained 16 cents to $28.95.
Oil futures rose to their highest level all week Friday, as positive U.S. jobs data lifted hopes for higher oil demand. April crude gained 39 cents to $91.95 a barrel, April gasoline jumped 8.02 cents to $3.20 a gallon, and April distillates fell a fraction to $2.97 a gallon.
Natural gas futures prices climbed Friday to a fresh 2013 high, amid lingering late-winter cold in key consuming regions. April Natural-gas rose 4.7 cents to $3.62.
On Wall Street, stocks closed out a historic week with another day of gains on Friday, as the Dow hit yet another record closing high on a payrolls report that surpassed even the most optimistic forecasts. The Dow gained 67 to 14,397, the Nasdaq closed at 3,244, up 12 and the S&P 500 gained almost 7 to close at 1,551.