Market Recap: Cotton Futures Defy Bearish Signals

Lean hog futures were mixed Monday as choppy cash markets weighed on sooner-expiring contracts.  February hog futures fell 42 to 87.35, April hog futures fell 37 to 88.65.

U.S. live cattle futures rose modestly Monday on support from relatively stable cash markets and improved wholesale beef prices. February live cattle gained 12 to $123, and March feeder cattle fell 32 to $154.

US wheat futures ended higher on worries about European supplies and technical momentum. March wheat in Chicago ended up 7 3/4 to $6.68, and March wheat in KC closed up 6 1/4 to $7.19.

US corn futures ended mixed amid tight near-term supplies but an absence of fresh supportive news. March corn ended down 1/4 to $6.44

US soybean futures ended slightly higher, fueled by technical buying and hopes for increased export demand amid the uncertainty surrounding South American production, Soy product futures ended mixed. March soy ended up 1/2 at $12.33, March soy oil ended up 51 at 52.16, and March soy meal ended down $1.10 at $327.50.

Cotton futures ended unchanged despite plenty of reasons for a move down; Morgan Stanley cites bearish outlook based on falling Asian demand, tumbling retail sales and increased planted area. March cotton lost 3 to close at $96.31, and the May contract gained 35 to close at $97.83.

The world's two most important crude contracts headed in different directions Monday, with the price premium for European crude over U.S. crude growing to the largest level in three months due to rising domestic supplies and concerns of shortages overseas. March crude dropped 93 cents to $96.91 a barrel, March gasoline gained 1.35 cents to $2.92 a gallon, and March distillates gained 5.63 cents to $3.17 a gallon.

Natural gas futures ended the day higher, closing out a volatile session as traders focused on the possibility of cooler weather leading to higher gas-fired heating demand. March Natural gas gained 5.1 cents to $2.55.

On Wall Street, the blue chips fell slightly from their highest level since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers as traders cashed in on gains from last week's rally and remained cautious over the debt situation in Greece. The Dow fell 17 to close at 12,845, the Nasdaq closed at 2,901, down 3 and the S&P 500 lost a fraction to end the day at 1,344. 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.