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Market Recap: Livestock Futures End Rally

U.S. livestock futures on Monday found an abrupt end to last week's sharp rally as traders moved to take profits following a surge of meat buying tied to the spring grilling season.

Lean hog futures faced some sharp losses after the drop in wholesale pork prices encouraged some traders to take profits from long positions.

CME June hogs fell 72 to 86.70 and July hog futures fell 152 to 87.05. June Live Cattle closed down 72 to $118, and May feeder cattle climbed 57 to $151.

U.S. soybean futures climbed Monday, fueled by investors adding risk premium to account for stressful weather, with Investors factoring in very nervous weather for newly planted U.S. soybean crops. Soybeans for July delivery closed up 7 1/2 cents to $14.12. U.S. wheat futures perked up Monday as well, extending the market's recent upward trend. Wheat kept rising as concerns remained about dryness in Russia and dry, hot weather forecast in coming days for the southern U.S. Plains. July wheat in Chicago ended 8 3/4 higher at $7.04, and July wheat in KC rose 10 to $7.15. U.S. corn futures ended mixed, with the spot month July contract stumbling on easing cash basis and slower exports, while new crop contracts were buoyed by weather risks. July corn closed down 2 1/2 at $6.33.

ICE cotton futures edged lower as the market continues to search for fair value, taking into consideration recent supply/demand reports that put global ending stocks at record levels for 2012-13. July cotton fell 47 to 77.52, and the October contract dropped 30 to close at 76.67.

Gold futures pulled back Monday, the first loss in three trading sessions, as a lack of a new economic-policy response to Europe's debt woes limited demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset. June gold fell $3.20 to $1,588.70, and July silver closed at $28.32, down 39.4 cents.
Oil futures snapped a six-session losing streak Monday, lifted by brisk gains in the equity markets and signs that Greece's departure from the euro zone appears less likely. June crude gained $1.09 to $92.57 a barrel, June gasoline gained 5.06 cents to $2.94 a gallon, and June distillates gained 3.03 cents to $2.86 a gallon.

Natural gas prices fell Monday as profit taking and worries of growing supply erased the recent gains.
June Natural gas settled at $2.60.

Stocks rose more than 1 percent on Monday, with the S&P 500 snapping a six-day losing streak in a rebound from equities' biggest weekly drop in almost six months, but Facebook slumped in its second session after a disappointing debut. The Dow gained 135 to close at 12,504, the Nasdaq closed at 2,847, up 68, and the S&P 500 gained 20 to close at 1,315. 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.