Market Recap: Wheat Futures Fall on Profit Taking

U.S. lean-hog futures finished mixed, propped up in the front-month contract by colder weather in the Midwest, which can keep hog supplies tight. Concern that demand for pork may be cooling worked against some of the gains. February lean hogs added 5 to 87.65, April hogs fell 6 to 88.75.

U.S. cattle futures finished lower Friday as questions about consumer demand for beef offset the longer-term view of diminishing beef cattle supplies. February Live-cattle fell 3 to $132, April cattle, the most actively traded contract, fell 62 to $132.

At the livestock auction held Thursday in Smithfield a total of 432 cattle, 17 goats and 6 sheep were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady. Feeder cattle were $4-$8 higher. Average dressing slaughter cows brought $70-$75.50, with high dressing up to $76.

U.S. wheat futures fell Friday, settling at a fresh one-week low as traders took profits on previous gains ahead of the weekend. Wheat prices dropped at all U.S. wheat futures markets. U.S. soybean futures settled higher Friday, fueled by forecasts for less rain for Argentina crops than was anticipated Thursday. Corn futures eased Friday, falling on profit taking in unison with wheat.

March wheat in Chicago ended down 14 1/2 at $7.65, Kansas City Board of Trade March wheat dropped 15 3/4 to $8.22, March soybeans finished up 5 3/4 at $14.74, and March corn ended down 4 1/2 at $7.36.

North Carolina’s egg prices trended steady on all sizes. Supplies are moderate. Retail demand is moderate. The North Carolina weighted average price for small lot sales of delivered, cartoned, grade “A” eggs was 161.61 for Extra Large, 160.84 for Large, 122.86 for Medium, and 102.00 for Small eggs.

U.S. 2 yellow shelled corn trended four to five cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.56-$8.11 at feed mills and $6.17-$8.16 at elevators. U.S. 1 yellow soybeans trended mostly five to six cents higher and were $14.84 at processors, and $13.99-$14.59 at elevators. New crop U.S. 2 soft red winter wheat was $6.78-$7.78. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $473.20 per ton for 48% protein.

March cotton finished the week unchanged at 82.95, and the May contract gained 40 to 83.55.

Gold futures settled higher Friday as investors continued to watch economic data for clues about the Federal Reserve's policy stance. April gold rose $8.60 to $1,670.60, and March silver closed at $31.95, up 60.7 cents

Crude-oil futures rose Friday amid continued hefty gains in U.S. equities price. March crude oil gained 26 cents to $97.77 a barrel, March gasoline settled at $3.05 a gallon, up 2.19 cents, March distillates gained 4.19 cents to $3.16 a gallon.

Natural gas fell Friday, contributing to a decline for the week as high U.S. stockpiles keep pressure on prices. March Natural gas slumped 3.8 cents to $3.30.

On Wall Street, stocks rose to five-year highs on Friday, with the Dow closing above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007, after jobs and manufacturing data showed the economy's recovery remains on track. The Dow gained 149 to close at 14,009, the Nasdaq closed at 3,179, up 36, and the S&P 500 gained 15 to 1,513. 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.