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Market Recap: Winter Wheat Futures Soar on Cold Weather in the Plains

U.S. lean-hog futures extended their rally Thursday to a second day amid signs of improved meat demand.
Thinly traded May hog futures rose 37 to 88.97, Most-active June hog futures added 82 to 91.82

U.S. live-cattle futures also rose to multiweek highs following higher wholesale beef prices. Feeder-cattle futures also rose. April live-cattle futures added 67 to $127, Most-active June futures picked up 82 to $122, August feeder-cattle futures advanced 152 to $152.

At the 2 livestock auctions held Wednesday at Norwood and North Wilkesboro a total of 1050 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to $9.00 higher, feeder steers trended $1.00 to $8.00 higher, and heifers trended mixed when compared to the previous week.

N.C. BROILER-FRYERS: The market is steady and the live supply is adequate to meet the moderate demand. Average weights are heavy. The estimated slaughter for Thursday in North Carolina is 2,823,000 head compared to 2,828,000 head last Thursday.

U.S. wheat futures rose Thursday on worries about recent freeze damage to crops in the Plains. Corn futures rose on a large export sale to China and on concerns that recent price declines left corn undervalued at a time of tight supplies, and Soybean futures rose on worries about tight current supplies, recovering from a price decline on Wednesday.

May wheat in Chicago gained 9 1/2 to$7.01, May wheat in KC rose 24 3/4 to $7.63, May corn futures rose 5 3/4 to $6.45, and May soybean futures rose 19 1/2 to $14.23.

Greens: Demand is moderate. Market for Kale is lower, others are about steady. Various containers, bunched/loose collard, mustard, and turnip tops 7.00-8.00 some 6.50. Kale type was 7.00-9.00 some high as 15.00.
Sweet potatoes: Demand is moderate. Market is about steady. 40 lb cartons Orange Types U.S. No. 1 13.00-15.00, few higher and lower. U.S. No. 1 Petite 10.00-12.00 few higher and lower. U.S. No. 2 7.00-9.00, few higher and lower. No Grade Marks jumbo 6.00-7.00, few higher and lower.

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 6 to 7 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $6.85-$7.25 at feed mills and $6.60-7.25 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 19 to 27 cents higher and were $14.42 at processors, and $13.57-$14.23 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat was 12 cents higher and was $6.04 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants, was $469.30 per ton for 48% protein.

Cotton futures edged higher Thursday morning, boosted by the weaker dollar as well as robust export sales. USDA reported 237,700 bales of upland cotton sold during the week ended April 18, up 46% from the prior four-week average. July Cotton gained 28 to 83.23, but December new crop fell 14 to 83.28.

Gold prices ended Thursday at their highest level in nearly two weeks, as investors drew confidence from data showing central banks' purchases of gold in March while brisk demand for gold coins, jewelry and bullion bars in Asia continued. June gold gained $38.30 to $1,462.00. Silver futures also settled higher, taking their cues from gold. May Silver rose $1.30 to $24.14.

Crude-oil futures settled at two-week highs Thursday on concerns over tightening supplies, while U.S. gasoline demand heats up ahead of the peak spring-summer driving season. June crude oil climbed $2.21 to $93.64 a barrel, May gasoline rose 6.44 cents settle $2.81 a gallon, and May distillates jumped 6.04 cents to $2.90 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures ended nearly where they began Thursday after weekly data showed a modest increase in U.S. natural-gas stockpiles. May Natural gas gained a fraction to $4.16.

On Wall Street, stocks rose yesterday, lifted by stronger than expected earnings and a large drop in weekly jobless claims. The Dow gained 24 to 14,700, the Nasdaq closed at 3,289, up 20 and the S&P 500 gained 6 to 1,585. 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.