Market Recap: Livestock Futures Gain on Outside Interest

U.S. live-cattle futures closed higher Monday, supported by mostly favorable outside markets. Cattle gained in part because of weakness in the U.S. dollar, which market participants expect could encourage stronger export demand for beef. December live-cattle futures rose 45 to $126, February live Cattle climbed 12 to $130.

At the livestock auction held Friday in Siler City a total of 1,408 cattle and 101 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended 1.00 to 3.00 lower; bulls were 3.00 to 4.00 lower.

U.S. lean hog futures finished higher Monday, supported by buying interest from managed funds and broad-based gains in commodity and equity markets. Short covering and technical buying also helped lift hog futures as prices moved up through key resistance levels, including recent highs. December Lean hogs finished up 112 at 81.45, while most-active February futures rose 97 to 87.42.

Corn futures rose Monday, boosted by favorable outside markets and hopes for greater export demand for U.S. corn. Soybean futures rose in reaction to sharp declines last week. Some traders on Monday were likely buying futures to exit bets on lower prices, sending futures higher, Wheat futures rose on concerns about dry soil for wheat crops in the U.S. southern Plains, and other signs of tighter world supplies.

December corn futures gained 11 3/4 to $7.38, January soybeans rose 11 1/2 to $13.94, CBOT December wheat in Chicago rose 3 3/4 to $8.41, and December wheat in KC finished the day unchanged at $8.76.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 11 to 18 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.29-$8.17 at feed mills and $7.23-$7.69 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mostly 11 to 12 cents higher, one location five cents lower, and were $13.79 at processors, and $13.27-$13.49 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was not established. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $479.60 per ton for 48% protein.

Cotton futures ended lower, bucking the action in most commodity markets, as first-notice day approaches. Most traders are expected by Friday to square their positions if they don't intend on taking or making delivery of physical cotton. December cotton fell 68 to 72.05, and the March contract fell 64 to 72.00

Gold prices rallied on signs that U.S. lawmakers would reach a compromise averting automatic tax increases and spending cuts, and as ongoing conflict in the Middle East boosted demand for a haven. December gold rose $19.70 to $1,734.40, December silver closed at $33.18, up 81.9 cents.

Crude-oil futures jumped Monday after fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants intensified, raising the threat of a broader conflict in the oil-rich Middle East. January crude rose $2.36 to $89.28 a barrel, December gasoline gained 4.44 cents to $2.75 a gallon, and December distillates rose 8.83 cents to $3.07 a gallon.

Natural gas futures fell Monday from one-year highs amid forecasts for warmer temperatures that would cut gas-fired power demand. December natural gas futures lost 7.1 cents to $3.71.

On Wall Street, stocks rallied Monday, with the Nasdaq up, as investors were encouraged by the early tone in talks to tackle the U.S. fiscal crunch and by data that showed an advance in the housing sector's recovery. The Dow gained 207 to close at 12,795, the Nasdaq closed at 2,916, up 62, and the S&P 500 gained 27 to finish the day at 1,386. 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.