U.S. Lean-Hog Futures Rally Continues on Pork Demand, Hog Supply
U.S. lean-hog futures ended higher Tuesday, with front months surging to new highs, on strong domestic pork demand and tight hog supplies. CME lean hogs for June were up 1.075 cents, or 1.1%, to $1.00275 cents a pound, the highest closing price for the front month since August 2011. CME July lean hogs gained 1.25 cents, or 1.3%, to 99.15 cents a pound.
CME live-cattle futures were also higher, as the market rebounded from prior losses. The market got a boost from technical buying, traders said. CME live cattle for June closed up 1.125 cents, or 0.9%, to $1.20325 a pound. CME August feeder cattle closed up 1.25 cents a pound to $1.44675.
U.S. wheat futures finished higher, with winter wheat contracts supported by poor crop conditions in the southern Plains. July wheat futures ended up seven cents, or 1%, at $6.96 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat climbed four cents, or 0.6%, to $7.30 a bushel. MGEX July wheat finished up 4 1/4 cents, or 0.5%, at $8.15 3/4 a bushel.
U.S. corn futures finished higher, with tight supplies buoying nearby contracts, while the uncertainty of 2013 production potential supported contracts for delivery later in the year. CBOT corn for July delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained 9 1/2 cents, or 1.4%, at $6.59 1/2 a bushel. The December contract rose 4 3/4 cents, or 0.9%, to $5.50 3/4.
U.S. soybean futures climbed Tuesday, with the spot July contract settling at a seven-month high on tight domestic stockpiles of the oilseed. Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for July delivery rose 28 3/4 cents, or 1.9%, at $15.40 1/2. The November soybean contract climbed 8 cents, or 0.6%, to $13.27.
Cotton futures rallied to a near-10-week high as investors worried about the availability of U.S.-grown fiber ahead of the latest supply/demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, due out today. The market's concerns stem from strong export sales of the fiber and expected delays in the arrival of the new crop, much of which has been planted behind schedule. If the USDA revises exports slightly higher in the report, those fears would be reinforced and prices could be squeezed even higher, analysts said. Cotton for July delivery on ICE settled up 1.6% at 88.06 cents a pound, the highest since April 4.
Nymex crude edged lower Tuesday as concerns grew over central banks cutting back stimulus measures and a lower forecast for global oil demand by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled down 39 cents, or 0.4%, at $95.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange for July delivery settled 99 cents lower at $102.96 a barrel. Front-month July reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled 2.50 cents lower at $2.8231 a gallon. July ULSD heating oil settled 2.63 cents lower at $2.8575 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures dropped to fresh three-month lows Tuesday as outlooks for mild weather added to concerns about weak fuel usage. Natural gas for July delivery fell 7.6 cents, or 2%, to settle at $3.724 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since March 13. Gas slumped as private weather forecasts showed average and below-average temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S. persisting for the next six to 10 days.
Gold and silver slipped on Tuesday as investors worried that the central bank stimulus measures, that have supported precious metals, may be scaled back and buyers in China were out for a holiday. The most actively traded gold contract, for August delivery, fell $9, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,377 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since May 22. Silver for July delivery settled down 1.3% at $21.64, the lowest level since late-September 2010.
Stocks slid in a volatile session on Tuesday after Japan's central bank disappointed equity markets by holding steady its monetary policy. The Dow fell into the red by 116 points, closing at 15122. Nasdaq was a loser, dropping 36 to 3436. The Standard & Poors 500 closed