U.S. lean-hog futures rallied mid-session Wednesday, closing sharply higher after a report on U.S. pork exports indicated a new record for shipments, by volume and sales. December lean hogs shed 2 to 82.07, February gained 150 to at 85.65
U.S. live-cattle futures finished mixed Wednesday, correcting from Tuesday's rally on higher wholesale beef prices, which some analysts considered overdone. December cattle fell 2 at $126 February live cattle, the most actively traded contract, slid 15 to $131
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 373 cattle and 53 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended mixed, 1.00 higher to 3.50 lower; bulls were 2.00 to 4.00 lower.
U.S. wheat futures continued to fall Wednesday on technical selling and a slower pace of exports forecast by USDA on Tuesday. Corn futures fell on the decline in wheat and on concerns about weak export demand for corn. Nearby soybean futures rose on strong demand from foreign buyers including China, but deferred futures fell on benign weather in South America and the potential for soy crops in Brazil and Argentina to greatly replenish world supplies next year.
March wheat in Chicago fell 9 1/2 to $8.12, March wheat in KC fell 16 1/4 to $8.65, March corn fell 2 1/2 to $7.25, and January soybean futures rose 1 1/2 to $14.73.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended two to nine cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.09-$7.95 at feed mills and $7.21-$7.56 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mostly one to two cents higher and were $14.53 at processors, and $13.82-$14.13 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was not established. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $507 per ton for 48% protein.
ICE cotton futures ended at a 7-week high on follow-through buying after the USDA's monthly supply-and-demand report no Tuesday showed higher global demand. March cotton gained 21 to 75.11, and the May contract fell 7 to 75.72.
Gold futures ended at their highest level in more than a week after the Federal Reserve announced a new bond-purchasing program that investors and analysts say may fuel inflation. February gold rose $8.30 to $1,717.90, March silver closed at $33.78, up 76.5 cents
U.S. crude futures settled higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee decided to expand its bond-buying program in an effort to support a still-weak economic recovery. January crude rose 98 cents to $86.77 a barrel, and January gasoline gained 3.60 cents to $2.64.
Natural-gas futures dropped for a fifth day Wednesday, as traders expect the impact of demand-sapping warm Eastern U.S. temperatures to be evident in lofty weekly gas inventory data. January natural-gas fell 3 cents to $3.38.
On Wall Street, stocks ended nearly flat on Wednesday, giving up most of the day's gains after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that monetary policy won't be enough to offset damage from the "fiscal cliff." The Dow fell almost 3 to 13,245, the Nasdaq closed at 3,013, down 8 ½ and the S&P 500 gained a fraction to 1,428.