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Market Recap: Improved Export Demand Push Wheat Futures Higher

U.S. lean-hog futures finished higher Monday, as some traders deemed Friday's selloff too sharp. April lean hogs added 5 to 80.52, June hogs gained 85 to 90.55

U.S. live-cattle futures edged higher Monday, stabilizing after a selloff Friday amid views from some traders that beef demand is improving. April feeder-cattle futures followed live cattle higher. April live-cattle gained 25 to $126, June futures added 52 to $122, and May feeder-cattle futures picked up 45 to $144.

At the livestock auction held Friday in Siler City a total of 864 cattle and 33 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended 50 cents to 15.00 higher; bulls were mostly steady. M&L 1-2 feeder steers, 400-600 lbs., trended mostly 2.00 to 5.00 higher; heifers were mostly steady to 10.00 higher. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $75-$83, with high dressing up to $93. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold from $92-$99, with high dressing ranging $104-$107.50.

U.S. wheat futures climbed for the second straight session Monday, settling at a nearly two-week high on signs of improved export demand. Soybean futures ended higher, supported by investors reducing some risk in the market before Wednesday's U.S. government reports on supply and easing fears about a bird-flu outbreak in China. Corn futures ended higher on positioning ahead of Wednesday's U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report and improved outlooks for corn feed demand amid its current price premium over wheat.

May wheat in Chicago ended up 13 1/2 at $7.12, Kansas City Board of Trade May wheat rose 19 to $7.45, May soybeans finished up 16 1/4 at $13.78, and May corn ended up 4 1/2 at $6.33.

U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended four to five cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.73-$7.18 at feed mills and $6.53-$7.13 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended 15 to 17 cents higher and were $14.18 at processors, and $13.38-$13.78 at elevators. U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat trended eight to 13 cents higher, quoting $6.12 at elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $433.30 per ton for 48% protein.

Fruit and vegetable prices (shipping point f.o.b.): Greens: Demand moderate. Market about steady. Some shippers experiencing a production gap. Wide range in prices. Various containers bunched/loose Kale $10-$15, Collard, Mustard, and Turnip Tops $7-$8 some $6.50. Sweet Potatoes: Demand moderate. Market about steady. 40 pound cartons Orange Types U.S. No. 1 $13-$15 few higher and lower, U.S. No. 1 Petite $10-$12 few higher and lower, U.S. No. 2 $7-$9 mostly $8-$9 few lower occasional higher, No Grade Marks jumbo $6-$8 mostly $6-$7 occasional higher and lower.

Gold futures settled slightly lower Monday amid pressure from a stronger dollar and fresh gains in U.S. equity markets. June gold fell $3.40 to $1,572, and June silver slipped 6 cents to $27.19.

Cotton futures slid for a 3rd-consecutive session as the recent drop in corn and soybeans is expected to drive more US cotton plantings. Meanwhile, disappointing employment data last week continues to encourage traders to take profits. May cotton fell 46 to $86.33, and December new crop dropped 90 to $85.81.

Crude futures ended higher Monday after wavering between gains and losses, as a rebound in the gasoline market helped lift oil following last week's decline.

May crude gained 66 cents to $93.36 a barrel, May gasoline rose 4.57 cents to $2.90 a gallon, and May distillates gained 4.46 cents to $2.95 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures fell Monday as warmer-than-normal temperatures arrived in key Midwest and East Coast markets. May nat gas fell 4.3 cents to $4.08.

On Wall Street, stocks ended a volatile session higher on Monday as investors looked ahead to an earnings season expected to show modest growth despite concerns about the economy’s health. The Dow gained 48 to 14,613, the Nasdaq closed at 3,222, up 18 and the S&P 500 gained almost 10 to 1,563. 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.