U.S. lean-hog futures tumbled to a four-month low Tuesday, pressured by soft pork demand. Part of the weakness is seasonal, as pork processors have already secured the supplies they need for the upcoming Easter holiday.
April hog futures fell 117 to 78.22, May hogs fell 80 to 88.00.
U.S. cattle futures also ended lower Tuesday, with deferred live-cattle contracts falling to new contract lows amid sluggish demand and technical selling. April live cattle slipped 75 to $125, the June contract fell 40 to $120.
At the 3 livestock auctions held Monday at Canton, Turnersburg and Siler City a total of 2371 cattle and 8 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended mostly steady to $0.50 higher, feeder steers trended steady to $14.00 lower, and heifers trended $1.00 to $20.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $70.00 to $89.00. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $90.00 to $105.00 with high dressing up to $110.00.
U.S. corn futures closed mostly higher Tuesday, buoyed by tight domestic supplies of the grain. Wheat futures rose Tuesday, climbing in step with higher corn prices, while drawing independent strength from mixed signals on U.S. wheat crops in the Great Plains. Soybean futures declined, reversing early gains, weighed by the advancement of South American soybean harvests and the threat of slowing demand.
May corn gained 8 1/2 to $7.28, May wheat in Chicago ended up 9 1/4 at $7.22, Kansas City Board of Trade May wheat rose 7 1/2 to $7.51, and May soybeans finished down 2 3/4 at $14.06.
N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on small and medium, higher on the balance. Supplies are light on extra large and large, moderate 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 153.80, Large 149.93, Medium 121.86, and Small 83.00.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 8 to 9 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.48-$8.14 at feed mills and $7.48-$8.13 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mixed and were $14.41 at processors, and $13.62-$14.06 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 9 cents higher and was $6.21-$7.02 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $456.60 per ton for 48% protein.
Cotton futures traded slightly higher Tuesday, as traders eyed an upcoming federal forecast on U.S. cotton acreage this spring. May cotton fell 48 to 90.35, but the July contract gained 15 to 91.53.
Gold futures rose to a three-week high Tuesday as worries about Europe's financial system lifted demand for the metal as a safe-haven investment.
April gold gained $6.70 to $1,611.30, May silver closed at $28.84 down 3.1 cents.
U.S. oil prices are rising as supplies that had been bottled up in the middle of the country start to reach refiners. April Crude closed at $92.16 a barrel, up 11 cents, April gasoline fell 8.38 cents to $3.04 a gallon, and April distillates fell 6.26 cents to $2.86 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures climbed Tuesday, extending a late-winter weather rally into a fifth day, and pushing prices to an 18-month high just shy of $4. April nat gas futures gained 8.7 cents to $3.96.
The S&P 500 fell for a third day on Tuesday, but pared losses late in the day after lawmakers in Cyprus rejected a proposed tax on bank deposits. The Dow gained 3 to 14,455, the Nasdaq closed at 3,229, down 8 and the S&P 500 lost 3 to close at 1,548.