U.S. lean-hog futures closed mostly higher Tuesday, supported by the front-month contract's discount to prices in cash markets. December lean-hog futures rose 17 to 80.50, February also gained, finishing up 57 at 86.85.
U.S. live-cattle futures picked up midday Tuesday after a morning of weak trading, encouraged by a strengthening economic outlook. December live-cattle 45 to $125, February cattle also rose, closing up 45 to $129.
At the livestock auctions held Monday in Canton, Siler City, and Turnersburg a total of 2,215 cattle and 65 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to 5.50 lower; bulls were 4.00 to 5.00 lower.
U.S. wheat futures fell Tuesday, pressured by tepid wheat demand and overall weakness in grain and soy markets. Corn futures rose on news of an export sale. The USDA said private exporters reported sales of 158,496 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the current marketing year, and soybean futures ended mixed, with nearby futures slightly higher on tight current supplies and strong U.S. cash markets.
December wheat in Chicago fell 6 3/4 to $8.51, December wheat in KC fell 2 3/4 to $8.87, December corn rose 5 1/2 to $7.23, and January soybeans rose 3 to $14.08.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 15 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.13-$7.98 at feed mills and $7.08-$7.54 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 25 to 62 cents lower and were $14.12 at processors, and $13.41-$13.82 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was not established. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $488.10 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures ended the day slightly lower, but above the 70c/pound level. December cotton fell 7 to end at 70.81, and the March contract lost 27 to 70.93.
Gold futures ended trade in negative territory as concerns about Europe's debt problems pressured prices. Greece's official lenders disagreed about how to reduce the country's debt burden, resulting in delays to the disbursement of a 31.5 billion euro bailout payment. December Gold fell $6.10 to $1,724.80, and December silver fell 9 cents to $32.44.
Crude-oil futures ended lower Tuesday after the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for global oil demand through the end of the year and said economic weakness could pressure demand next year.
The Paris-based energy watchdog said it expects demand to fall by nearly 300,000 barrels a day in the last three months of 2012 and kept its 2013 forecast for oil-demand growth unchanged. December crude lost 19 cents to $85.38 a barrel, December gasoline fell 2.25 cents to $2.65 a gallon, and December distillates dropped 3.84 cents to $2.96 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures soared and settled at their highest level in a year Tuesday on expectations that colder weather will trigger the first decline in inventories of the winter season. December natural gas jumped 16.9 cents to $3.73.
On Wall Street, stocks sold off late in the session on Tuesday led by a slide in Microsoft shares, though retailers were a notable bright spot after Home Depot raised its outlook. The Dow fell 58 to 12,756, the Nasdaq closed at 2,883, down 20 and the S&P 500 fell 5 to 1,374.