Market Recap: Livestock Futures Slip on Demand Concerns

U.S. livestock futures faced losses Tuesday from concerns over the strength of domestic meat demand, especially in the face of rising gas prices. Lean hog futures fell, pressured by growing suspicions that pork prices this year won't enjoy a seasonal Easter bounce as processors fill orders for ham and other holiday meal ingredients. April hogs fell 62 to 88.02, and the May contract lost 92 to close at 96.77

Live cattle futures faced modest losses following a sharp selloff on Monday. February Live Cattle closed down 2 to $127, and March feeders dropped 70 to close at $155.

US wheat futures surge, ending at three-week highs as a broad rally in grains prompts short-covering. March wheat ended up 16 1/2 to $6.62; March wheat in KC closed up 14 1/2 to $6.99.

US corn futures rallied amid near-term supply concerns and broad strength in grains. March corn ended up 9 to $6.53.

US soybean futures ended higher, continuing a trend of setting new near-term highs on declining South American crop forecasts and strong export demand, Soy product futures ended mixed. May soybeans ended up 10 at $13.12, May soy meal ended up $5.70 to $349.30, while May soy oil dropped 6 at 54.80.

NY cotton futures ended higher, but volume was almost one-third less than the 12-month average, exaggerating the move. March gains 1.26 to 91.66, while more-actively traded May contract ended up 1.57 at 92.24.

Silver futures rallied 4.5% while gold settled at its highest level in three months amid growing investor interest in precious metals and a weaker dollar. May silver closed at $37.20, up $1.32, and Apr gold closed at $1,788.40, up $13.50.

Oil futures fell almost 2% Tuesday, as investors took profits off the table and worries mounted that the recent spike in oil prices would undermine economic growth. April crude fell $2.01 to $106.55 barrel, March gasoline fell 8.82 cents to $3.04 a gallon, and March distillates fell 6.26 cents to $3.22 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures dropped Tuesday as traders worried that mild weather will keep heating demand from denting high U.S. supply levels. April Natural gas fell 8.4 cents to $2.51.

On Wall Street, stocks logged a gain Tuesday despite mixed economic reports, with the Dow finishing above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008 and the S&P closing at its best level in almost four years. The Dow gained 23 to close at 13,005, the Nasdaq closed at 2,986, up 20 and the S&P 500 gained 4 ½ to finish at 1,372. 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.