U.S. lean-hog futures settled mostly lower, as traders anticipated the modest decline in hog weights due to the colder weather in the central U.S. being offset by the large volume of pork remaining in commercial freezers across the country. February lean hogs added 27 to 85.97, April hogs, the most actively traded contract, fell 27 to 88.00.
U.S. live-cattle futures finished mostly higher Wednesday, supported by technical trading and sentiment that the market was oversold. February live-cattle added 5 to $125, April live cattle, the most actively traded contract, slid 2 to $130.
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 410 cattle and 25 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady. M&L 1-2 feeder steers, 400-600 lbs., trended steady to 13.00 higher; heifers were mixed, 2.75 lower to 8.50 higher.
U.S. soybean futures fell on Wednesday, pressured by a wetter weather forecast for Argentina and technical selling. Corn and wheat followed soybeans lower. The two grains were also pressured by continued concerns about weak export demand. Wheat was also pressured by a wetter weather forecast for crops in the U.S. southern Plains, where prolonged drought conditions threaten now-dormant winter wheat crops.
March soybeans fell 14 3/4 at $14.37, March corn fell 7 3/4 at $7.20, March wheat in Chicago dropped 4 1/2 to $7.74, and March wheat in KC fell 1/2 to $8.30.
U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended eight cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.40-$7.95 at feed mills and $7.45-$7.80 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended mostly 14 to 16 cents lower and were $14.37 at processors, and $13.57-$14.23 at elevators. New crop U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat was $6.90-$7.42. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $461.50 per ton for 48% protein.
North Carolina’s egg prices trended higher on extra large and large, steady on the balance. Supplies are light for extra large and large; moderate for small and medium. Retail demand is good. The North Carolina weighted average price for small lot sales of delivered, cartoned, grade “A” eggs was 149.14 for Extra Large, 148.36 for Large, 115.47 for Medium, and 102.00 for Small eggs.
Cotton futures climbed to their highest settlement in seven months Wednesday as traders focused on the amount of cotton available globally. March cotton edged up 1 to end at 79.94, the May gained 59 to 80.67.
Gold futures gave up their morning gains, ending in negative territory Wednesday on forecasts for an economic contraction in Europe. February Gold fell $6.50 to $1,686.70, March silver closed at $32.43, up 2.62 cents
Crude-oil futures posted their biggest decline in a month Wednesday, falling on expectations of a seasonal drop in demand from U.S. refiners. March crude oil fell $1.45 a barrel at $95.23 a barrel, February gasoline futures rose for a fifth straight session a fraction to $2.83 a gallon, February also gained a fraction to $3.07 a gallon.
Natural gas futures settled slightly lower Wednesday as forecasts for milder weather next week have traders concerned about sagging demand despite this week's bitter cold temperatures. February Natural gas fell a fraction to $3.55
U.S. and European stocks moved higher on Wednesday, helped by strong earnings reports and signs American lawmakers were close to raising the federal debt limit. The Dow gained 67 to 13,779, the Nasdaq closed at 3,153 up 10 and the S&P 500 gained 2 to 1,494.