Market Recap: Grains & Oilseeds Stumble on Lack of Export Demand

Lean-hog futures were mostly lower Friday, as traders weigh mixed demand signals from a steady-to-weak cash market with some delayed or canceled eastward-bound pork shipments in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. December lean hogs closed down 12 at 77.75, the February contract also fell, shedding 25 to 83.90. Deferred contracts for fall 2013 were all higher.

U.S. live-cattle futures closed mostly lower Friday, pulled down by wholesale beef prices, which have continued to decline throughout the week, and weak demand from retailers and consumers on the East Coast due to megastorm Sandy. December live-cattle gained 10 to $125, the February contract dropped 5 to $129.

At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 522 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended mixed, feeder steers trended mixed and heifers trended $4.00 to $5.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales.

Corn futures fell Friday, pressured by the latest in a string of lackluster export-sales reports for the U.S. crop. U.S. soybean futures also slumped Friday, pressured by speculative profit-taking on recent gains. Traders are bracing for a potential increase in government estimates for U.S. supplies after private forecasters raised their projections this week. U.S. wheat futures declined along with other grain markets and were pressured, like corn, by a lackluster export-sales report. December Corn fell 11 1/2 to $7.39, November soybeans lost 31 1/2 to $15.27, December wheat in Chicago ended down 4 at $8.64, and Kansas City Board of Trade December wheat rose 1/4 to $9.08.

N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is good. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 141.95, Large 141.95, Medium 125.69, and Small 101.00.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 11 to 12 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.29-$8.14 at feed mills and $7.24-7.70 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 31 cents lower and were $15.17 at processors, and $14.67-$14.97 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $535.90 per ton for 48% protein.

December cotton gained 14 at 70.35 after touching a five-week low of 69.66, the March contract fell 19 to 71.31.

Gold futures settled at their lowest level in more than two months as better-than-expected economic data reined in hopes of more accommodative measures from the Federal Reserve. December gold fell $40.30 to $1,675.20, December silver closed at $30.85; down $1.391

Gasoline futures retreated Friday as government officials took steps to increase shipments of gasoline to the Sandy-scarred U.S. Northeast and as a key conduit for the motor fuel reopened.

December gasoline futures settled at $2.57 per gallon, down 6 cents, December crude finished the week at $84.86 per barrel, down $2.23, and December distillates closed at $2.94 per gallon, down 8.6 cents

Natural gas futures tumbled to their lowest level in more than a month Friday, as traders focused on record inventories and looked past the falling temperatures likely to boost demand as winter approaches. December Natural gas fell 14.5 cents to $3.55

Stocks retreated on Friday even after a U.S. employment report for October surpassed expectations, as investors looked beyond next week's presidential election to the looming "fiscal cliff." The Dow fell 139 to 13,093, the Nasdaq closed at 2,982, down 37, and the S&P 500 dropped 13 to 1,414. 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.