Market Recap: Corn Continues Rally on Export Demand

CME lean-hog futures finished mixed Friday, as traders weighed a rally in cattle against signs that packers are easing their slaughter activity until pork prices improve. Both February and April hog futures edged lower, with the February contract ending down 75 at 85.32, and April closing at $87.05, down 45.

U.S. live cattle futures soared to a record high Friday, surging on sharply higher cash market prices. February live cattle closed up 35 at $124, January feeder cattle closed slightly off the record high, down 7 at $151.

US wheat futures ended higher, staging a late session short-covering rally. March wheat in Chicago ended up 4 3/4 at $6.10, March wheat in KC ended up 9 at $6.67.

US corn futures ended mostly higher on signs of improving export demand, tightening near-term supplies and a troubled South America crop. March corn ended up 5 1/2 to $6.11.

US soybean futures ended lower, retracing most of Thursday's gains as traders reduced risk ahead of the weekend, Soy product futures dropped with soybeans. March soybeans ended down 10 at $11.87, March soy meal ended down $3.80 at $311.90 and March soy oil finished down 63 to 50.43.

Cotton futures rebounded from a slow start on increased export sales. March cotton gained 43 to close at $98.60, and the May contract gained 64 to $98.63.

Silver futures surged Friday to their highest level in six weeks, as hopes for steady demand for the precious metal replaced the economic gloom that dragged prices lower last month.

March silver rose $1.16, to at $31.675. Gold also rose Friday, on cautious buying ahead of an expected deal between Greece and its private creditors. February Gold rose $9.50 to $1,664.00

Crude futures slumped Friday, retreating from gains posted earlier in the week, on a weaker euro and hope for easing tensions between Iran and the West. February crude fell $1.93 to $98.46 a barrel, February gasoline dropped 3.14 cents to $2.78 a gallon, and February distillates fell 4.76 cents to $2.98 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures settled modestly higher Friday, snapping a tumultuous eight-day losing streak that slashed prices by 24% to 10-year lows. February nat gas gained 2 cents to $2.34.

On Wall Street, rallying shares of computing giant IBM pushed the blue chips into positive territory, but trader were still cautious over debt talks in Greece. The Dow gained 96 to finish the week at 12,720, the Nasdaq closed at 2,786, down 1 2/3 and the S&P 500 gained a fraction to 1,315. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.