U.S. lean-hog futures settled mixed to higher Wednesday, as analysts weighed waning consumer demand with firmer prices in cash markets. December lean hogs rose 57 to 79.17, the February contract was also up 55 at 84.87
U.S. live-cattle futures rose Wednesday, boosted by rising wholesale beef prices, tightening supplies and expectations for a strong cash market. October Live Cattle gained 57 to $126, the December contract climbed 92 to $127.
At the livestock auction held Tuesday at Mount Airy a total of 715 cattle and 44 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to $2.00 lower, feeder steers trended steady to $20.00 lower and heifers trended $0.50 to $7.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales.
At the state graded feeder pig sale in Mt. Olive a total of 112 pigs were sold. U.S. No. 1 and 2 pigs, 40-50 lbs. averaged 58.00; 50-60 lbs. returned 60.00, No. 3s averaged 40.00; 80-100 lbs averaged 55.00. No. 1-3 returned 30-40 lbs average 72.00.
U.S. grain and soybean futures rose Wednesday, boosted by a mix of technical buying and worries about tight supplies. Corn, wheat and soybean futures rose in choppy, low-volume trading on Wednesday, led for most of the day by soybeans. Traders are unsure how big the U.S. corn and soybean crops will ultimately be, as they wait for farmers to finish harvesting and the U.S. government to give final production estimates.
November soybeans gained 15 1/2 at $15.09, December corn gained 7 1/4 to $7.45, December wheat in Chicago jumped 8 1/2 to $8.56, and December wheat in KC rose 11 1/4 to $8.94.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 7 to 9 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.35-$8.20 at feed mills and $7.30-7.71 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 16 cents higher and were $15.34 at processors, and $14.42-$14.79 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $504.70 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures soared the exchange-imposed limit to settle at a four-month high Wednesday, as concerns about U.S. supplies gave prices a boost. December cotton gained 234 to 77.86, and the March contract gained 145 to 76.06.
Gold gained Wednesday, taking cues from moves in currency markets as investors cheered an affirmation of Spain's credit rating. December gold rose $6.70 to $1,753, and December silver closed at $33.23, up 27.3 cents
Crude futures ended slightly higher Wednesday after historically tight supplies of heating oil, diesel and similar petroleum products overshadowed an increase in crude oil inventories. November crude settled at $92.12 per barrel up 3 cents, November gasoline closed at $2.78 a gallon, down 6.4 cents, and November distillates settled at $3.18 a gallon, down a fraction.
Natural-gas futures ended higher as an upcoming report on U.S. gas inventories is expected to show stockpiles rising at a slow pace, implying stronger demand for the fuel used for heating. November Natural gas gained 3.3 cents to $3.47.
On Wall Street the S&P 500 rose for the third consecutive day on Wednesday after housing starts hit a four-year high, but the Dow was weighed down by IBM after it posed weak revenue. The Dow gained 5 to close at 13,557, the Nasdaq closed at 3,104, up 2 and the S&P 500 gained almost 6 to close at 1,460.