U.S. lean-hog futures settled higher on Tuesday, as wholesale beef prices continue to stay high, making pork more attractive for consumers at the supermarket. February lean hogs gained 52 to 85.27, April hogs picked up 47 to 90.27.
U.S. live-cattle futures closed lower on Tuesday, weighed down by greater losses in feeder cattle, which were technically overbought at the start of the trading session. Feeder cattle reversed their recent rally by closing sharply lower. December live cattle fell 77 to $128, January Feeder cattle fell 205 to $152.
At the 3 livestock auctions held Monday at Canton, Turnersburg and Siler City a total of 1010 cattle and 33 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $3.50 to $4.00 higher, feeder steers trended $8.00 higher, and heifers trended $7.00 to $10.50 higher when compared to last week’s sales.
Soybean futures slid after China cancelled a big order of U.S. supplies, raising questions about the strength of demand. Corn futures also fell Tuesday, pressured by the slump in soybeans. l. Wheat futures were higher.
Soybeans for January delivery dropped 29 3/4 cents to $14.66, March corn ended down 4 to $7.20, March wheat in Chicago gained 3 1/4 to $8.11, March wheat in KC gained 4 ¼ to $8.60.
N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on all sizes. 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 147.69, Large 149.24, Medium 122.86, and Small 102.00.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 3 to 4 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.11-$7.90 at feed mills and $7.15-$7.50 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 28 to 30 cents lower and were $14.40 at processors, and $13.86-$14.31 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $499.90 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures eked out a fresh two-month high as speculators and funds continued to buy into the market, March cotton gained 10 to 75.95, in very thin trade and the May contract gained 7 to 76.73.
Gold prices sank to their lowest level in three months Tuesday as pessimism over the U.S. fiscal-cliff negotiations pushed prices below a key technical level, triggering a wave of selling. February gold settled down $27.50 to $1,670.70, March silver closed at $31.66, down 61.1 cents
U.S. crude oil futures settled at a two-week high Tuesday, with traders watching the ebb and flow of optimism in talks over avoiding the "fiscal cliff." January crude oil gained 73 cents to $87.93 a barrel, January distillates rose 4.02 cents to $2.99 a gallon, and January gasoline gained 3.63 cents to $2.69 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures prices gained Tuesday as forecasts for colder weather through the end of the year suggested gas-fired heating demand will increase. January Natural gas gained 6 cents to $3.41.
On Wall Street, stocks rallied on strong volume on Tuesday, capping off the S&P 500's best two-day run in a month, on confidence that a deal would be struck in Washington to avoid painful spending cuts and tax hikes that could hurt the economy. The Dow gained 115 to 13,350, the Nasdaq closed at 3,054, up 43, and the S&P 500 gained 16 1,446.