Lean hog futures finished mixed in directionless trade as the beaten-down market digested a one-day gain in pork prices. May lean hogs fell 67 to 83.00, a 15-month low for that contract. The June contract fell 7 to 85.86
U.S. live cattle futures finished mostly higher on Tuesday as fresh concerns related to a finding of mad-cow disease offset a sense that recent selloffs have been overblown. June Live Cattle closed down 62 to $113, August feeders gained 47 to close at $154.
U.S. corn futures dipped Tuesday, as a swift planting pace raises hope for U.S. corn inventories to double in the next year. July corn contract that represents supplies harvested last autumn ended down 5 1/4 at $6.29.
Separately, soybean futures ended mixed, with traders selling old crop contracts and buying new crop futures featured. Investors concerned that global supplies will dwindle into 2013 propelled deferred-month soy futures. Smaller South American production is placing increased pressure on
U.S. farmers to produce large crops in order to keep pace with robust global demand. July soybeans finished down 2 at $15.03.
Wheat ended lower, pressured by improved crop outlooks amid swiftly developing winter crops and fast spring wheat plantings. Reports that crop scouts viewed crops with adequate moisture and good yield potential weighed on prices as well. July wheat in Chicago ended down 11 1/2 at $6.43, July wheat in KC ended down 5 at $6.57.
ICE cotton futures tick higher in low-volume consolidation trading after Monday's tumble that was caused by changes to India's export policy. May cotton gained 26 to $87.51, and the July contract gained 28 to finish at 89.68
Gold futures edged lower Tuesday on stronger-than-expected manufacturing data from the U.S., which helped the dollar shake off losses against other currencies. June gold fell $1.80 to$1,662.40, and Jul silver closed at $30.93, down 8.6 cents
U.S. crude futures rose to a fresh one-month high Tuesday after a measure of U.S. manufacturing improved over the previous month and equities gained, signaling that the economy is continuing to recover. June crude gained $1.29 to $106.16 a barrel, June gasoline fell 2.75 cents to $3.09 a gallon, and June distillates fell a fraction to $3.17 a gallon.
Natural gas futures prices climbed to a two-month high Tuesday in a continuation of a rally spurred by news of a drop in U.S. output in February. June nat gas rose 8.6 cents to $2.37.
On Wall Street, the Dow closed at its highest level in more than four years on Tuesday after U.S. manufacturing expanded at a faster pace than expected in April, easing jitters about a slowdown in the economic recovery. The Dow gained 65 to close at 13,279, the Nasdaq closed at 3,050, up 4, and the S&P 500 gained almost 8 to close at 1,405.