US cattle futures ended lower amid position-squaring ahead of today’s cattle-on-feed report and profit-taking after recent gains. September live cattle ended down 12 to $120 while September feeder cattle fell 175 to $140. Lean hog futures, meanwhile, settle mixed, as the market stabilized following sharp Wednesday losses due to growing supplies. October lean hogs ended up 25 to 75.625, the December contract fell 37 to 72.90.
At the livestock auctions held Wednesday at North Wilkesboro and Norwood a total of 703 cattle and 0 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to 0.50 lower and feeder calves were mixed, steers were 2.00 to 7.00 lower, heifers were 1.00 to 2.00 higher, when compared to last week’s sales. At the state graded feeder cattle sale in Siler City, a total of 253 steers and 198 heifers were sold.
US wheat futures settled higher, maintaining a firm tone on tighter Russian supplies, which spark hope of increased US export demand if Russian exports are curtailed. Corn and soybeans ended mixed, with corn buoyed by drought reduced crop outlooks, while soybeans stumbled on the potential for favorable August crop conditions aiding crop yields. September wheat in Chicago gained 15 to $8.61, September wheat in KC gained 15 as well to $8.73, December corn finished up 3 1/2 at $8.07, and November soybeans fell 9 1/4 to $16.25
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 3 to 4 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.97-$8.75 at feed mills and $7.92-8.47 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 9 cents lower and were $16.75 at processors, and $15.80-$16.46 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was without an available trend as of this report. Prices were $7.73-$7.82 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $581.50 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures edged lower despite good demand as demonstrated in the USDA's weekly export sales report. December new crop cotton fell 52 to$72.59, and near-month October fell 34 to $72.37.
Crude-oil futures settled at a fresh three-month high above $95 a barrel Thursday afternoon, extending to a third day a rally spurred by concerns over tightening supplies. September crude oil jumped $1.27 to $95.60 a barrel, September gasoline futures fell a fraction to $3.08 a gallon, and September distillates gained 3.77 cents to $3.12 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures ended lower Thursday in choppy trading, brushing aside a bullish inventory report released earlier in the day. September Natural gas closed at $2.72, down 2.4 cents
On Wall Street, stocks rose on Thursday after supportive comments from Germany’s chancellor that appeared to back the European Central Bank’s efforts to fight the euro zone crisis. The Dow gained 85 to close at 13,250, the Nasdaq jumped 31 to 3,062, and the S&P 500 gained almost 10 to 1,415.