Market Recap: Soybean Futures Reach 2-month High

Lean hog futures closed lower on Monday as the ongoing absence of a seasonal rebound in demand has fueled caution over the contracts' enduringly high prices. February hog futures closed down 52 at 83.37, April hog futures closed down 77 at 86.97.

U.S. livestock futures again faced some losses Monday, as trading continued to reflect lingering concern over the strength of red meat demand this winter. February live cattle closed up 37 at $119, January feeder cattle rose 50 to $147.

US wheat futures ended higher on spillover support from worries about South America's corn and soybean crops. March wheat in Chicago ended up 17, at $6.41, March wheat in KC ended up 18 to $6.98.

US corn futures ended higher on continued worries about hot South American weather. March corn ended up 8 1/2 at $6.52.

US soybean futures rallied Monday, settling at a two-month high, as traders rebuilt risk premium into prices amid threats to South American crops, Soy product futures spiked in unison with rallying soybeans. March soybeans ended up 36 1/2 to $12.33, March soy meal ended up $11.10 to $323.50; and March soy oil climbed 1.21 to 52.33.

Cotton traded mildly higher after struggling to find direction early in the day, much of Monday’s trading was positioning for the Supply and Demand reports coming out Thursday. March cotton gained 58 to close at $96.44, and the May contract gained 60 to $96.12.

Gold slipped Monday as early weakness in the euro bolstered the view that Europe's debt crisis would continue to provide headwinds for the precious metal. February gold fell $8.70 to $1,608.10 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $28.78, up 9.9 cents.

Oil futures ended the day little changed Monday, balanced between conflicting pressures from euro-zone debt worries on the upside but supported by continued tensions between Iran and the West. February crude closed at $101.31 a barrel, down 25 cents, February gasoline gained a fraction to $2.75 a gallon, and February distillates gained a fraction to $3.07 a gallon.

Natural gas futures retreated Monday, as weather forecasts continued to project above-average temperatures over the next several weeks, damping expectations for a near-term jump in demand. February Natural gas dropped 5.1 cents to $3.01.

The blue chips advanced on Monday, helped by jumping Alcoa shares as traders bid up the aluminum giant ahead of its earnings release after the closing bell. The Dow gained 32 to close at 12,392, the Nasdaq closed at 2,676, up 2 and the S&P 500 gained almost 3 to close at 1,280. 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.