Market Recap: South American Weather Influences Wheat & Soybean Futures

U.S. lean-hog futures finished mostly higher, with support from the near-term tightness of slaughter-ready supplies and steadily rising wholesale pork prices being offset by weakness in cattle futures. February lean-hog futures dropped 7 to 87.10, the April contract gained 57 to 89.62.

U.S. live-cattle futures reversed some of their recent gains Tuesday, after a sharp rally on tight supplies of slaughter-ready cattle brought the front-month contract near its recent high. February live-cattle slid 67 to $128, April cattle, the most actively traded contract, fell 42, to $132.

At the 3 livestock auctions held Monday at Canton, Turnersburg and Siler City a total of 1106 cattle and 27 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to $3.50 lower, feeder steers trended steady to $10.00 lower, and heifers trended mixed when compared to last week’s sales.

U.S. wheat futures settled slightly lower Tuesday, pressured by precipitation for U.S. crops and technical selling. Corn futures were mixed after trading in a narrow range for the session. Corn supplies are tight after last year's drought, but traders are also concerned about generally weak corn demand.

Soybean futures rose slightly, fueled by forecasts projecting less rain for Argentina crops this week than was anticipated Monday.

March wheat in Chicago fell 2 1/4 to $7.77, March wheat in KC fell 2 to $8.30, March corn gained 1/4 to $7.29 and March soybeans gained 4 to$14.51.

N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on small and medium, higher on the balance. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is good. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 161.61, Large 160.84, Medium 122.86, and Small 102.00.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended steady to 1 cent higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.49-$8.05 at feed mills and $7.40-$7.89 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 4 cents higher and were $14.51 at processors, and $13.68-$14.37 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $468.70 per ton for 48% protein.

March cotton gained 134 to 82.39, and the May contract gained 157 to 82.58.

Gold gained on Tuesday as weaker U.S. economic data shifted speculation as to how much support the Federal Reserve would voice for its current stimulus program. February gold gained $8.10 $10.30 an ounce and $1,663.20, February silver gained 42 cents to $31.19.

U.S. crude futures rose Tuesday, pushing above $97 a barrel for the first time in more than four months as investors wager that signs of an improving economy will translate into higher fuel demand. March crude gained $1.13 to $97.57 a barrel, February gasoline gained 3.86 cents to$2.97 a gallon, and February distillates jumped 4.76 cents to $3.10 a gallon.

Natural gas futures prices plunged Monday in their largest decline in three months, as they were pressured by forecasts for warmer weather and lower gas demand. February Natural gas fell 15.5 cents to $3.28.

On Wall Street, stocks advanced on Tuesday. Led by defensive sectors, in a sign the cash piles recently moving into the market are being put to use by cautious investors to pick up more gains. The Dow gained 72 to 13,594, the Nasdaq fell a fraction to 3,153, and the S&P 500 gained 7 to 1,507. 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.