Market Recap: Export Sales Push Cotton Futures Higher

Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on Friday as traders weighed a one-day rise in pork prices against enduring softness in demand for meat and hogs. April lean hog futures fell 12 to 89.72, May hog futures fell 5 to 98.72

U.S. live cattle futures mostly treaded water on Friday as traders waited for fresh fundamentals for the beef industry. February Live Cattle rose 25 to 127, March feeders gained 2 to close at $157.

US wheat futures ended mostly lower on large world supplies and prospect of increased domestic supplies. March wheat in Chicago ended down 3/4 to $6.41, and March wheat in KC ended up 1 to $6.81.

US corn futures ended mixed, with nearby contracts gaining slightly on tight near-term supplies while deferred months slide on the prospect of a large crop this year. March corn ended up 1 1/4 at $6.40

US soybean futures ended higher Friday, continuing a trend of fresh highs for the current move, Soy product futures ended modestly higher, feeding off the supportive theme in soybean futures. March soybeans rallied to a new five-month high during the session, gaining 2 1/4 to $12.79, March soy oil ended up 9 at 54.29, and March soy meal ended up $0.70 to $333.60.

Cotton futures end higher after the USDA reports strong export sales and shipments of cotton, countering an annual federal forecast earlier Friday that said cotton production worldwide appears poised to outstrip consumption in the 2012-13 season March cotton gained 237 to close at 89.85, and the May contract gained 92 to close at 90.15.

Gold futures fell Friday for the first time this week, as traders cashed out to profit from the precious metal's rise to three-month highs. April Gold fell $9.90 to $1,776.40 an ounce, April silver fell 23 to close at $35.35.

Oil futures rallied to a fresh nine-month high Friday as mounting tensions with Iran raised fears about a possible supply disruption. April delivery rose for the seventh-straight session, to as high as $109.95 a barrel, before pulling back slightly to settle up $109.77, up $1.94 a barrel. March gasoline gained 3.92 cents to $3.15 a gallon, and March distillates gained 2.10 cents to $3.31 a gallon.

Natural gas futures dropped Friday as investors focused on the massive supply surplus that continues to keep a lid on prices for the fuel. March Natural gas fell 7.1 cents to $2.55.

On Wall Street, the blue chips tilted lower in light trading on Friday as market participants eyed oil prices that jumped close to 2% on the day. The Dow fell 1 to close at 12,982, the Nasdaq closed at 2,963, up 6, and the S&P 500 gained 2 to close at 1,365. 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.