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Commodity Market Summary

Grains

Rice settled limit-down today, with the July contract falling 50 cents to settle at $24.32 per hundredweight. The market sold off on profit-taking after climbing to over $25 overnight.

Corn fell 2-percent on the day, with the May contract settling 11 1/2 cents lower at $5.76 1/4 a bushel. Weather watching seems to be keeping traders off-balance due to various planting conditions. Traders reported that the attention in the pits was also on the action in the currency markets, with rallying U.S. dollar contributing to the commodity sell-off.

July wheat settled 7 1/2 cents lower at $8.24 a bushel, May soybeans settled 23 1/4 cents lower at $13.48 3/4 a bushel, July soy-meal settled $6.20 lower at $349.80 per short ton, and July soy-oil settled 109 points lower at 60.87 cents per pound.

Softs

Broad-based commodity selling was not enough to hold cocoa prices down, with the July contract settling $19 higher at $2,799 a metric ton. Unrest in Nigeria, the world's fifth-largest exporter, and strong global demand continue to send cocoa higher. Cocoa futures have climbed over 25-percent over the past 2-weeks.

Sugar fell to a 10-week low, with the May contract settling 39 points lower at 11.5 cents a pound. Strength in the U.S. dollar sent the energy market lower pulling with it sugar, the ingredient that is used to produce ethanol.

July cotton settled 195 points lower at 72.13 cents a pound, May coffee closed settled 465 points lower at $1.3075 a pound, May orange juice settled 260 points lower at $1.1745 a pound.

Meats

Cattle futures settled higher, with April live cattle closing 55 points higher at 92.25 cents a pound. Rising cash prices with stronger demand continues to push the cattle market higher. April feeder cattle settled 5 points higher at 101.80 cents a pound.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed-beef wire reported choice cuts jumped .56 cents a pound and select items were .48 cents a pound higher.

Hog futures closed higher on the session with June lean hogs settling 42 points higher at 75.000 cents a pound and May pork bellies settled 250 points higher at 77.60 cents.

Energy

Crude oil fell nearly 2-percent today, with the May contract settling $2.24 lower at $116.06 a barrel. Strength in the dollar and pressure from a larger than expected build in U.S. crude inventories, sent crude lower on the session.

Crude inventories reported by the EIA on Wednesday, came in at 2.4 million barrels. This was higher than market expectations for a gain of 1.5 million. Refinery utilization jumped by 4.2 percent to 85.6 percent of capacity.

June RBOB gasoline settled 3.31 cents lower at $3.0093 a gallon, June heating oil settled 5.91 cents lower at $3.2481 a gallon and June natural gas settled nearly unchanged at $10.943 per million British thermal units.

Metals

Gold encountered heavy selling today, with the June contract settling $19.60 lower at $889.40 an ounce. The U.S. dollar gained .9-percent, against a basket of major currencies, on expectations that the Federal Reserve is at, or near the end of cutting interest rates. This decreases demand of precious metals as a hedge against inflation.

May silver settled 50 cents lower at $16.66 an ounce, July platinum settled $48.10 lower at $1,970.70 an ounce, June palladium settled $1.10 lower at $446.45 an ounce, and May copper settled 2 cents lower to end at $3.88 a pound.

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