U.S. lean-hog futures tumbled Friday, as market participants lowered their expectations for pork demand in coming months. April hogs fell 14 to 80.02, Most-active June hog futures fell 232 to 89.70
U.S. live-cattle futures also fell, thanks to questions of beef demand on weaker outside markets. April feeder-cattle futures followed live cattle lower. April live-cattle futures finished down 122 to $126, Most-active June futures dropped 85 to $121, and May feeder-cattle fell 165 to $144.
At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 522 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to $3.50 lower, feeder steers trended $3.00 to $13.00 higher, and heifers trended $5.00 to $20.00 higher when compared to the sale two weeks ago. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $74.00 to $80.00. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $83.00 to $95.00 with high dressing up to $99.00. At the state graded feeder cattle sale in North Wilkesboro, a total of 270 steers, 122 bulls and 270 heifers were sold.
U.S. soybean futures fell to a fresh 10-month low amid worries about the impact of a bird-flu outbreak in China and a surge in South American supplies. Corn prices also fell, extending their slide from a March 28 U.S. Department of Agriculture report showing corn stockpiles were much larger than most had assumed, and wheat prices in Chicago were higher, amid worries about drought in the U.S. Plains and optimism about U.S. exports.
May Soybean ended down 10 1/4 to $13.61, May corn dropped 1 to $6.29, May wheat in Chicago ended up 5 to $6.99, and May wheat in KC gained 4 ¼ to $7.26.
The N.C. egg market is steady on small, lower on the balance. Supplies are heavy. Retail demand is light. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of Grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 145.30, Large 141.22, Medium 107.12 and Small 78.00.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 1 cent lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.69-$7.14 at feed mills and $6.49-7.09 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 11 cents lower and were $14.01 at processors, and $13.22-$13.62 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was 4 cents higher and was $6.04 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $434.80 per ton for 48% protein.
ICE cotton futures on Friday dropped as a slide this week in prices for other crops, including corn, raised expectations that U.S. farmers will plant more of the fiber this spring, leading to more supply. May Cotton finished
Gold futures settled higher, snapping a three-day losing streak, as a weaker dollar and disappointing U.S. employment data bolstered gold's investment appeal. June Gold gained $23.50 at $1,575.90, Silver futures followed gold's lead, with the May contract gained 45.3 cents to $27.22.
That disappointing reading on March U.S. payrolls sent crude oil futures tumbling, with Brent crude sinking to an eight-month low, on fresh concerns about weak oil demand in the world's biggest crude consumer.
May gasoline dropped 3.51 cents to $2.86 a gallon, its lowest finish since Feb. 27. May crude fell 56 cents to $92.70 a barrel, May distillates finished lower by 5.36 cents to $2.90 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures surged higher Friday, rising to a 20-month high as investors focused on falling U.S. gas supplies. May Natural gas gained 17.8 cents at $4.12.
On Wall Street, markets tumbled and the dollar fell on Friday after a weaker-than-expected jobs report added to fears the US economic recovery may be losing steam, driving a bid for safety that boosted prices of US Treasury security and gold. The Dow fell 40 to end the week at 14,565, the Nasdaq closed at 3,203, down 21 and the S&P 500 fell 6 to 1,553.