U.S. lean-hog futures closed higher Wednesday, buoyed by sentiment that a seasonal upswing in pork demand isn't finished yet. May hog futures added 52 to 91.97, June futures added 47 to 91.77
U.S. live-cattle futures slid Wednesday, pressured by declines in cash prices that hinted at weaker beef demand. Feeder-cattle futures were again sharply lower. June live-cattle fell 62 to $120, August live-cattle shed 105 to $120 May feeders fell 127 to $135.
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 406 cattle and 34 goats were sold. Slaughter cattle trended mostly steady. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $70-$79.50, with high dressing up to $89. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold from $93.50-$98, with high dressing ranging $99-$104.
The North Carolina broiler-fryer market was steady and the live supply was adequate to meet the moderate demand. Average weights were heavy. The estimated slaughter for Wednesday in North Carolina was 2,890,000 head compared to 2,847,000 head last Wednesday.
U.S. corn futures closed at fresh one-week lows Wednesday, as drier Midwest weather forecasts eased worries about delayed planting of this year's crop. Wheat futures ended mixed, with worries about crop damage from a Great Plains drought and spring freezes underpinning prices.
Soybeans futures ended mostly higher Wednesday, fueled by tight domestic stockpiles of the oilseed and abated fears about farmers looking to shift corn acres to soybeans.
May corn fell 1 1/2 to $6.75, July wheat in Chicago ended down 3 at $7.06, Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat rose 2 1/2 to $7.60, and July soybeans finished up 8 1/2 at $13.90.
U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended mostly seven cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.83-$7.25 at feed mills and $6.53-$7.08 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended eight to 16 cents higher and were $14.70 at processors, and $13.76-$14.79 at elevators. U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat trended three cents lower, quoting $5.56 at elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $477.60 per ton for 48% protein.
Fruit and vegetable prices (shipping point f.o.b.): Strawberries: Demand fairly good. Market about steady. Includes palletizing and cooling. Flats of 8 1-pound containers with lids medium-large $12-$13.75 mostly $13.
Cotton futures at one-month highs just below 88c/lb as the market gears up for the USDA's monthly supply/demand report, due Friday. July cotton fell 142 to 85.73, and December new crop gained 80 to 86.77.
Gold futures climbed on Wednesday, settling at a near one-month high on a wave of buying by investors who bet the market would break out of its sideways funk. June delivery, rose $24.90, or 1.7%, to settle at $1,473.70, Jul silver $23.927, up 12.1 cents
Crude-oil futures settled at a one-month high Wednesday after a report showed U.S. oil stockpiles rose less than expected last week. June crude gained $1 to $96.62 a barrel, June gasoline gained 2.04 cents to $2.85 a gallon, and June distillates fell 1.30 cents to $2.91 a gallon.
Natural gas futures settled higher Wednesday, rebounding from a one-month low, but ending below the key $4 level. June natural gas gained 5.8 cents to $3.97.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high for a fifth day on Wednesday in a broad rally that keeps surprising investors with its longevity and resilience. The Dow gained 48 to 15,105, the Nasdaq closed at 3,413, up 16 and the S&P 500 gained 6 to 1,632.