U.S. hog futures settled lower Friday as the sharp declines in cattle futures spilled into the hog market. April lean-hog futures fell 12 to 79.67, June hogs dropped 12 to 79.67.
U.S. live-cattle futures declined sharply Friday, pressured by weaker-than-expected prices for cattle in cash-market trading. April live-cattle futures fell 227 to $125, June live-cattle dropped 185, to $121.
At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 865 cattle and 8 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended mostly $1.00 to $6.00 lower, feeder steers trended mostly $12.00 to $38.50 lower, and heifers trended $6.00 to $13.00 lower when compared to the previous sale. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $71.50 to $85.50. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $80.50 to $90.00 with high dressing up to $102.50.
U.S. soybean futures fell for the fourth straight session Friday, settling at their lowest level in a month on continuation charts amid slowing demand for the oilseed. Corn futures settled higher, supported by lingering concerns about demand outstripping tight supplies. Wheat futures ended mixed, with nearby contracts succumbing to profit-taking after a recent rally.
May soybeans fell 9 1/2 to $14.26, May corn ended up 1/2 at $7.17, May wheat in Chicago ended down 1 3/4 at $7.23 and Kansas City Board of Trade May wheat dropped 1 1/4 to $7.51.
The N.C. egg market is steady on small, higher on the balance. Supplies are moderate for small and medium, light on the balance. Retail demand is good. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of Grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 145.86, Large 141.38, Medium 117.95 and Small 83.00.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended steady to 1 cent higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.37-$8.07 at feed mills and $7.37-7.62 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mixed and were $14.56 at processors, and $13.86-$14.26 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was without an available trend. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $463.80 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures extended their gains Friday as increased demand for the fiber sent prices to 11-month highs. May cotton gained 214 to finish the week at 93.00, and December new crop fell 3 to 88.51.
Gold futures settled slightly higher Friday as a weaker dollar, weaker equities and data showing higher inflation bolstered investor appetite for the metal. April gold rose $1.90 to $1,592.60, and May silver closed at $28.85, up 4.4 cents.
Crude-oil futures prices settled at a three-week high Friday amid mixed signals on a sustained economic recovery in the world's biggest oil consumer. April crude gained 42 cents to $93.45 a barrel, April gasoline futures gained 2.25 cents to $3.16 a gallon, and April distillates gained a fraction to $2.93 a gallon.
Natural gas futures extended their winning streak for a third straight session Friday, advancing to their highest level in four months on forecasts that cold temperatures will persist across most of the country in the coming weeks. April Natural gas settled six cents higher at $3.87.
On Wall Street, stocks fell on Friday from near record levels as a drop in JPMorgan Chase led a pause in the market's 10-day rally, while the dollar retreated from a seven-month high despite more signs the U.S. economy is strengthening. The Dow fell 25 to 14,514, the Nasdaq closed at 3,249, down 9 and the S&P 500 fell 2 to 1,560.