Market Summary: Export Demand Drives Soybean Futures Higher

U.S. lean hog prices ended mixed, as front-month futures extended their rally while deferred contracts fell for the second straight day. October lean hogs closed up 177 at 81.80, December lean hogs, the most active contract, gained 175 to 76.05

U.S. live cattle futures fell Thursday, retreating amid concerns about beef demand and the sluggish economy, even as cash-market prices rose. October live cattle fell 75 to $122, December live cattle slipped 32 to $125, and October feeder cattle ended down 82 to $144.

At the livestock auctions held Wednesday at Smithfield, Norwood and North Wilkesboro a total of 747 cattle and 169 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended $0.50 to $2.00 higher, feeder steers trended $3.00 to $6.00 lower and feeder heifers trended $10.00 to $15.00 lower when compared to last week’s sales. At the Mid Atlantic Cattle video auction on October 3, an estimated 351 cattle were sold. All lots are current delivery.

Soybean futures rose Thursday, buoyed by a government report showing strong export demand for the U.S. crop. Corn and wheat futures ended mixed, after rallying to a lesser degree than soybeans for most of the day. November soybeans rose 19 3/4 to $15.51, December wheat in Chicago ended down 3 3/4 to $8.69, Kansas City Board of Trade December wheat fell 4 1/4 to $8.86, and December Corn rose 1/4 to $7.57

No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended steady to 1 cent higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.47-$8.22 at feed mills and $7.42-7.82 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 20 cents higher and were $16.01 at processors, and $15.02-$15.22 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat had no trend available. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $508.90 per ton for 48% protein.

Cotton futures continued to loll around between 70 and 72.50 with China off on holiday. A robust USDA export sales report gave futures a brief boost, sending prices to a 1-week intraday high before a lack of follow-through buying left futures to drift lower. December cotton gained a fraction to 72.09, and the March contract also gained a fraction to 73.09.

Gold futures set an 11-month high and took aim at $1,800 on comments by the European Central Bank that hinted that new bailouts may be on the way. December gold rose $16.70 to $1,796.50, and December silver closed at $35.10, up 41.1 cents

The tail continues to wag the dog in Oil futures as they rallied sharply Thursday, reversing much of the previous day's losses, as disruptions to the gasoline market and a border skirmish between Turkey and Syria pulled prices higher. November crude gained $3.57 to $91.71 a barrel, November gasoline gained 14.34 cents to $2.94 a gallon, and November distillates gained 12.2 cents to $3.18 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures settled modestly higher Thursday, with a frosty near-term weather forecast trumping worries over rising inventories. November nat gas futures gained 1.1 cents to $3.40.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 extended gains to a fourth day on Thursday, putting it on the cusp of a new five-year high if Friday's jobs report shows encouraging signs for the labor market. The Dow gained 80 to close at 13,575, the Nasdaq closed at 3,149, up 14, and the S&P 500 gained 10 to 1,461. 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.