Market Summary: Grains & Oilseeds Gain on Export Demand

Lean hog futures faced sharp losses on Monday due to a mix of technical moves and enduring caution about the state of pork demand. April hog futures fell 107 to 88.65, May hog futures fell 102 to 97.70

U.S. live cattle futures closed mostly lower Monday as profit-taking by traders and concerns about price shock at the grocer's beef case more than outweighed firm cash prices and a supportive government supply report. February Live Cattle unchanged at $127, March feeders fell 122 to $156.

US wheat futures ended higher on strength in soybeans and short-covering. March wheat in Chicago ended up 4 3/4 at $6.45, March wheat in KC rose 4 to $6.85.

US corn futures continued to wrestle with tight near-term supplies versus expectations stockpiles could balloon in the months ahead. March corn ended up 3 3/4 to $6.44.

US soybean futures extended their recent rally, climbing to fresh five-month highs on strong export demand and declining South American crop forecasts, Soy product futures rallied to multi month highs in unison with soybeans. May soybeans ended up 15 3/4 at $13.02, May soy meal ended up $7.40 to $343.50, and May soy oil climbed 21 to 54.86.

Cotton futures ticked up in thin volume as low prices encouraged buying. March cotton gained 55 to 90.40 in very low volume, while May, the most-actively traded contract, closed up 52 at 90.67.

Gold futures ticked lower for a second session Monday, as the latest set of euro-zone debt worries cast doubt on the durability of the metal's recent rally. April gold fell $1.50 to $1,774.90 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $35.60, up 18.4 cents.

Oil futures pulled back Monday, snapping a string of seven straight advances. But despite the market's pause, few in the market see tensions surrounding Iran, which have powered the recent rally, abating anytime soon.

April crude dropped $1.21 to $108.56 a barrel, March gasoline fell 2.45 cents to $3.12 a gallon, and March distillates dropped 2.95 cents to$3.28 a gallon.

Natural gas futures pulled back Monday, reversing earlier gains, as attention shifted to the outlook for warm weather through March that is expected to keep a lid on gas-fired heating demand. March Natural gas fell 4.6 cents to $2.50.

The benchmark S&P index closed at its highest level since mid-2008 on Monday, extending gains for a third session as oil prices retreated after recent sharp gains and data showed further improvement in the U.S. housing market. The Dow fell 1 to close at 12,981, the Nasdaq gained 2 to close at 2,966, and the S&P 500 gained 1 7/8 to close at 1,367. 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.