Market Recap: Hog Futures Continue to Climb on Improved Pork Demand

U.S. lean-hog futures extended their rally Friday into a fourth straight session, bolstered by signs of improved pork demand. Thinly traded May hog futures rose 37 at 89.35 the highest closing price for the spot contract since Aug. 14. Other nearby contracts also surpassed recent highs. Most-active June hog futures added 7 to finish the week at 92.52.

U.S. live-cattle futures were mixed Friday, as end of the week profit-taking clipped the recent run-up in prices. April live-cattle gained 25 to $127, Most-active June futures fell 3 to $122

At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 550 cattle and 11 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $1.00 to $7.00 higher, feeder steers trended $2.00 to $15.00 lower, and heifers trended mostly $5.00 to $9.00 lower when compared to the previous sale. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $65.00 to $80.00. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $88.00 to $93.00 with high dressing up to $105.00.

N.C. BROILER-FRYERS: The market is steady and the live supply is adequate to meet the moderate demand. Average weights are heavy. The estimated slaughter for Friday and Saturday in North Carolina is 2,643,000 head compared to 2,850,000 head last Friday and Saturday.

U.S. soybean futures rose Friday, settling at a fresh one-week high amid tight domestic stockpiles. Corn futures declined on weather concerns, and Wheat futures fell Friday, slumping as investors positioned themselves ahead of the weekend.

May soybeans gained 7 1/4 to $14.30, May corn ended down 1 1/4 at $6.44, May wheat in Chicago ended down 12 1/2 at $6.88, and Kansas City Board of Trade May wheat dropped 7 1/4 to $7.56.

The N.C. egg 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 113.02, Large 106.81, Medium 100.86 and Small 80.00.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 1 to 5 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.84-$7.24 at feed mills and $6.59-7.24 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 7 to 19 cents higher and were $14.61 at processors, and $13.96-$14.30 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was 11 cents lower and was $5.93 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $472.90 per ton for 48% protein.

Gold futures slipped Friday, as investors cashed out after the market's rebound from its historic selloff earlier this month. June gold fell $8.40 to $1,453.60, May silver fell 28 cents to 23.83.

Cotton futures continued to climb Friday, as higher U.S. export sales of the fiber helped boost prices. July cotton gained 102 to 84.25, and December new crop gained 30 to 83.58.

Crude-oil futures fell Friday after a reading on the U.S. economy came in below expectations, signaling the potential for another year of sluggish growth that threatens to weigh on fuel demand. June crude fell 64 cents to $93.00 a barrel, May gasoline gained 2.31 to $2.83 a gallon, and May distillates fell a fraction to $2.90 a gallon.

Natural gas futures settled lower Friday after a chaotic final half-hour of trading that briefly launched the front-month contract into positive territory. May Natural gas fell by 1.5 cents to $4.15.

On Wall Street, stocks fell on Friday as the broadest measure of US economic growth fell short of expectations in the first quarter and Amazon dot com gave a disappointing outlook. The Dow gained 11 to close at 14,712, the Nasdaq closed at 3,279, down 10 and the S&P 500 dropped 3 to 1,582. 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.