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Market Recap: Grains Gain on USDA’s Latest Supply & Demand Report

Lean hog futures finished mostly lower as deferred contracts were pressured by a drop in pork prices, the rising U.S. dollar and swelling concerns about the state of China's economy, a major importer of American pork. April lean hog futures rose 7 to 87.82, June hog futures fell 22 to 95.32.

U.S. live cattle futures fell modestly on Friday, pressured by a combination of steep drops in beef prices and signs of growing supplies. April live cattle closed down 62 to $126, March feeders fell 105 to close at $153.

US wheat futures climbed as the USDA lowered its outlook for domestic year-end supplies by 2.4% on increased exports. May wheat in Chicago ended up 8 1/4 at $6.43, May wheat in KC rose 1/4 to $6.84.

Corn futures rose amid speculation China is buying US product, though any large purchase during the ongoing annual meeting of China's congress would be unusual. May corn ended up 9 1/2 at $6.45.

US soybean futures ended lower, retreating from early gains as traders took profits, Soy product futures ended mixed. May soy ended down 3/4 at $13.37, May soymeal dropped $4.50 to $362.70, and May soy oil climbed 88cto 54.27.

Cotton futures played both sides of unchanged after USDA came out with another bearish supply and demand report Friday morning. May cotton fell to 88.80, the July contract dropped 96 to close at 89.74.

Gold futures ended in positive territory Friday as the apparent resolution of Greece's latest debt problems reversed earlier losses on the back of stronger-than-expected U.S. employment data. April gold gained $12.80 to $1,711.50 an ounce, and April silver gained 39 cents to close at $34.18.

Oil futures ended at their highest level in a week Friday after the U.S. government reported a solid gain in jobs last month, suggesting improvement in the economy of the world's biggest oil consumer. April crude gained 82 cents to $107.40 a barrel, April gasoline gained 1.84 cents to $3.33 a gallon, and April distillates fell a fraction to $3.26 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures settled higher Friday, just pennies above 10-year lows as the market hopes producers will cut record-high output, tilting the fundamentals of a vastly oversupplied market. April natural gas jumped 5.2 cents to $2.32.

Stocks rose Friday after the February jobs report bolstered hopes that the economic recovery is on track. Three years after stocks hit their Great Recession low, the Dow Jones industrial average rose enough to erase the week's losses, which included Tuesday's 203-point dive, the worst one-day drop so far this year. The Dow gained 14 to finish the week at 12,922, the Nasdaq closed at 2,988, up almost 18, and the S&P 500 gained 5 to close at 1,370. 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.