Market Recap: Unfavorable Weather Pushes Wheat Futures Higher

U.S. lean-hog futures finished mixed, as traders weighed the prospects for an uptick in pork demand. Thinly traded April futures expired with a gain of 62 to 82.22, now spot-contract May hogs fell 2 to 87.37.

U.S. live-cattle futures finished modestly higher Friday, supported by their discount to recent cash prices for cattle. April live-cattle futures added 27 to $125, Most-active June futures rose 1 to $120.

At the livestock auction held Thursday at Smithfield a total of 669 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $4.50 to $7.00 lower, feeder steers trended $4.00 to $26.00 lower, and heifers trended steady to $13.00 lower when compared to the previous sale. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $68.00 to $75.50. Average dressing slaughter bulls, 1000 lbs. & up, sold at $80.00 to $87.00 with high dressing up to $98.00.

U.S. wheat futures rose Friday on concerns about unfavorable weather for crops. Corn futures rose for a fifth consecutive session, boosted by concerns about tight supplies and possible delays for spring corn planting. Soybean futures rose on concerns about tight domestic supplies, amid strong demand from both foreign importers and domestic processors.

May wheat in Chicago settled up 17 at $7.14, May wheat in KC rose 14 1/4 to $7.53, May corn futures rose 7 1/4 to $6.58, and May soybean futures rose 11 to $14.13.

The N.C. egg market is steady on small all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is light. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of Grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 126.20, Large 119.99, Medium 100.86 and Small 78.00.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended mixed when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.99-$7.43 at feed mills and $6.74-7.38 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 11 cents higher and were $14.58 at processors, and $13.73-$14.13 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was 17 cents higher and was $6.20 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $440.20 per ton for 48% protein.

Cotton futures eased to a six-week low Friday morning as investors continued to liquidate bets that prices would rise on a lack of any fresh, bullish news. May cotton gained 135 to 86.01, December new crop gained 33 to 85.99.

Gold careened into bear-market territory on Friday, slipping below $1,500 an ounce at one point, further succumbing to investors' push for higher yields. April gold fell $63.30 to $1,501 an ounce, May silver fell $1.67 to $26.05.

Crude-oil futures fell sharply Friday, hit by growing worries over rising U.S. oil supplies and slowing growth in global oil demand. May crude oil fell $2.22 to $91.29 a barrel, May gasoline fell 2.92 cents to $2.80 a gallon, and May distillates fell 2.73 cents to $2.87 a gallon.

Natural gas futures surged to a 21-month high Friday, extending their rally for a third session on tightening inventories and persistent cold weather expected to boost demand for gas-fired heating. May Natural gas gained 8.3 cents to $4.22.

On Wall Street, stocks fell on Friday, retreating from the previous session's record levels as financials were pressured by a pair of weak bank results and by a delay in the closing of a large bank deal. The Dow fell a fraction to 14,865, the Nasdaq closed at 3,294, down 5 and the S&P 500 fell 4 to 1,588. 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.