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Market Recap: Profit Taking Pushes Hog Futures Lower

U.S. lean-hog futures finished lower, pressured by profit-taking after a modest run-up this week. May hog futures fell 1 to 87.85, Most-active June hog futures shed 4 to 90.20.

U.S. live-cattle futures finished barely changed Friday, facing some pressure in deferred contracts due to uncertainty about beef demand and cattle supplies. April live-cattle futures added 15 to $126, Most-active June futures fell 7 to $121.

At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 534 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $0.50 to $4.00 lower, feeder steers trended $4.00 to $16.00 higher, and heifers trended mostly $2.00 to $12.00 higher when compared to the previous sale. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $64.00 to $73.00. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $92.00 with high dressing up to $100.00.

U.S. corn futures rose Friday on worries about a cold, wet spring delaying planting in the Midwest. Soybean futures fell on the expectations for some farmers to switch from corn to soybeans, boosting supplies after the fall harvest. Wheat futures rose on concerns about freeze damage to Plains crops on Friday morning after temperatures fell well into the 20s in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

May corn gained 7 1/2 at $6.52, May soybeans fell 2 1/4 to $14.28, May wheat in Chicago rose 6 1/4 to $7.09, and May wheat in KC rose 2 1/4 to $7.46.

The N.C. egg market is steady on all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is moderate. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of Grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 115.94, Large 109.73, Medium 100.86 and Small 78.00.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 2 to 8 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.92-$7.32 at feed mills and $6.67-7.32 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 2 to 8 cents lower and were $14.52 at processors, and $13.88-$14.28 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was 5 cents higher and was $6.12 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $462.40 per ton for 48% protein.

Cotton futures were barely higher on Friday, after higher China's disclosure that it would sell some of its reserves of the fiber countered higher U.S. export sales, leaving the market directionless. May cotton finished the week up 12 at 83.60, and December new crop gained 9 to 85.17.

Gold prices inched higher Friday, briefly trading above $1,400 an ounce, as reports of swift sales of the physical metal by bullion traders and coin stores bolstered investor interest in the precious metal. Silver prices, however, slumped to their lowest level since October 2010 despite similar reports of robust silver coin sales. April gold rose $3.30 to $1,395.30, April Silver fell 28.4 cents to $22.95.

U.S. crude futures posted modest gains Friday following sharp declines early this week as traders paused to gauge whether weak demand will keep prices moving lower. May crude gained 28 cents to $88.01 a barrel, May gasoline gained 1.69 cents to$2.77 a gallon, and May distillates gained a fraction to $2.78 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures ended little changed Friday, pausing after a week in which surprisingly strong demand lifted prices to 21-month highs. May Natural gas gained a fraction to $4.40.

On Wall Street, stocks rose Friday as earnings from Google and other companies boosted technology shares, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the S& P from suffering its worst week since November. The Dow gained 10 to finish the week at 14,547, the Nasdaq closed at 3,206, up 39, and the S&P 500 closed at 1,555, up 13. 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.