Market Recap: Hog Futures Gain on Prospect of Grilling Season Ahead

U.S. lean-hog futures settled higher Friday, buoyed by signs of improved pork demand as spring grilling season nears. April hogs rose 12 to 81.12, May hogs gained 1 to 89.40.

U.S. live-cattle futures finished modestly higher Friday on higher wholesale beef prices and cash cattle trading. Feeder-cattle futures fell slightly. April Live cattle gained 1 to $129, June live-cattle futures added 15 to $125, and March feeder-cattle fell 45 to $141.

At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 455 cattle and no goats were sold.

U.S. corn futures rose Friday, climbing for the fifth-straight session amid higher cash prices and limited domestic supplies of the grain. Nearby corn contracts rose to three-week highs. Soybean futures fell Friday, succumbing to traders taking profits on prior gains ahead of the weekend. Prices also were pressured by improved weather outlooks for crops in Argentina, the world's third-largest producer. Wheat futures rose in unison with corn futures, drawing support from traders views that a recent slide to eight-month lows left futures oversold on technical charts.

March soybeans finished down 9 3/4 to $14.64, March corn ended up 4 1/2 at $7.24, March wheat in Chicago ended up 5 1/2 at $7.13, and March wheat in KC rose 9 to $7.56.

The N.C. egg market is steady on small, higher on the balance. 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 127.08, Large 123.98, Medium 99.08 and Small 83.00.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 5 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.08-$8.09 at feed mills and $7.44-8.04 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 9 to 10 cents lower and were $14.68 at processors, and $14.04-$14.45 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $472.30 per ton for 48% protein.

Cotton futures edged lower Friday morning, under the pressure of a stronger dollar, after rallying to a 9 1/2-month high during the previous session. May cotton gained 1 to 85.30, and December new crop fell 7 to 85.14.

Gold futures fell Friday, ending at a fresh seven-month low, as a rebound in U.S. equities and signs of optimism among U.S. consumers pressured investor interest in gold. April gold fell $5.80 to $1,572.30, and May silver closed at $28.49, up 5.8 cents.
Crude-oil futures prices tumbled Friday to a low for 2013 as new concerns rose over the global economy. April crude-oil futures dropped $1.37 a barrel to $90.68, April gasoline gained 1.69 cents to $3.12 a gallon, and April distillates fell 3.02 cents to$2.93 a gallon

Natural-gas futures ended lower Friday, retreating slightly from gains made earlier this week as traders try to gauge an uncertain U.S. weather outlook. April Natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.45.

On Wall Street, stocks advanced modestly on Friday, leaving the S&P 500 with slight gains in a volatile week as strong economic data overshadowed growth concerns in China and Europe and let investors discount the impact of expected government spending cuts. The Dow gained 35 to end the week at 14,089, the Nasdaq closed at 3,169, up almost 10 and the S&P 500 gained 3 ½ to 1,518. 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.