U.S. lean-hog futures switched direction midday Monday and finished lower after breaking through highs some market participants may have considered too steep for the near-expiration December futures contract.
December hogs finished down 15 to 83.92, February futures, the most actively traded contract, dropped 125 at 85.67.
U.S. live-cattle futures rose Monday, shaking off expectations for softer beef demand after wholesale prices climbed higher at midday. December live-cattle closed up 27 to $127, February live-cattle futures, the most actively traded contract, gained 37 to $130.
At the livestock auction held Friday in Siler City a total of 1,432 cattle and 113 goats were sold. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $70-$79, with high dressing up to $83. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold from $87-$95.
U.S. soybean futures rose Monday, as heavy rains delayed the planting of a new soy crop in parts of Argentina. The delays are sparking concerns among traders that Argentina, the world's third-largest soybean producer after the U.S. and Brazil, may not produce as large a crop as once expected. Wheat futures surged Monday morning after a large weekend purchase of American wheat by Egypt, the world's top wheat importer, but fell back into the red on rain forecasts for the southern Plains this weekend and lower-than-expected weekly export inspections reported by the USDA. Corn futures followed wheat and soybeans on Monday, starting the session higher but later turning negative. Corn then turned positive again at the end of the session, pulled higher by late gains in soybeans. January soybeans finished up 15 at $14.53 while March wheat in Chicago fell 2 3/4 to $8.60, March wheat in KC fell 6 1/2 to $9.06 and March corn gained 2 to $7.54.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended mixed, four cents lower to 16 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.43-$8.24 at feed mills and $7.49-$7.79 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 15 to 20 cents higher and were $14.33 at processors, and $13.76-$14.24 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was not established. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $500.20 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures eked out a positive settlement, supported by the weaker dollar. Traders point to the potential for farmers to switch from cotton to soybeans and/or corn next season as an upside risk. March cotton fell 21 to 73.98, but the May contract gained 23 to 74.74.
Gold futures ended higher Monday, as some investors cheered progress in Greece's battle to hem in its debt while others focused on U.S. "fiscal cliff" talks. February gold rose $8.40 to $1,721.10, and March silver closed at $33.75, up 48.0 cents
After rallying in the morning, crude oil futures Monday gave back most of their gains as fresh manufacturing data revived concerns about energy demand. January Crude settled at $89.09, up 18 cents, Front-month gasoline finished at $2.72 a gallon, down a fraction, and front-month distillates closed at $3.05 per gallon, also down a fraction.
Natural gas futures rose Monday as forecasts of cooler temperatures next week helped prices bounce back from two-week lows. January Natural gas rose 3 cents to $3.59.
On Wall Street, stocks struggled to extend the previous week’s gains, dropping on Monday as disappointing US factory numbers dampened optimism about China’s economic growth. The Dow lost 59 to close at 12,965, the Nasdaq closed at 3,002, down 8 and the S&P 500 fell 6 to close at 1,409.