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Commodity Market Summary

April 29, 2008

Grains

Soybeans fell for the fifth straight session, with July contract settling 4 cents lower at $12.79 1/2 per bushel.

Soggy fields in the U.S. Midwest with reports of snow Monday in Northern Illinois are preventing farmers from getting the corn crop into the ground. Corn was trading higher early in the session before broad based commodity selling sent corn lower into the close. May corn settled 8 3/4 cents lower at $5.91 1/2 a bushel.

Rice settled limit-down for the second straight session, with the July contract settling the expanded limit of 75 cents lower at $22.93 per hundredweight. An increase in U.S. rice plantings and slower exports sent the market lower today.

Rice plantings in the U.S., the world's third-largest exporter, jumped to 44 percent as of April 27, up from 26 percent a week earlier, the USDA reported Monday.

July wheat settled 32 1/2 cents lower at $8.08 1/2 cents a bushel, May oats settled 10 cents lower at $3.68 1/2 a bushel, July soy-meal settled $2.50 lower at $333.00 per short ton, and July soy-oil settled 66 points lower at 57.82 cents per pound.

Softs

Cotton closed down 1.5-percent, with the July contract settling 101 points lower at 70.60 cents a pound. Cotton futures traded higher early in the session, but falling grain prices and a strengthening US dollar sent cotton lower into the close.

Orange juice closed over 3-percent higher with the July contract settling 370 points higher at $1.2435 a pound. Seasonal hurricane premium continues to build as the hurricane season in Florida, the world's second largest producer, is just around the corner.

July coffee settled 80 points higher at $1.3435 cents a pound, May sugar settled 42 points lower at 10.16 cents a pound, and July cocoa settled $24 lower at $2,775 a metric ton.

Meats

Hogs were slaughtered today- with June lean hogs settling 290 points lower at 72.55 cents a pound. The USDA reported that Russia will ban pork shipments from four U.S. slaughterhouses sent hogs lower on the session. May pork bellies settled 10 points lower at 74.00 cents a pound.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed-beef wire reported choice cuts gained .37 per hundredweight and select items were $1.08 per hundredweight lower.

Cattle closed slightly lower on the session with June live cattle settling 97 points lower at 92.77 cents a pound. Spill-over weakness from falling pigs sent cattle lower. August feeder cattle settled 95 points lower at 108.22 cents.

Metals

Gold closed at its lowest level since January, with the June contract settling $18.70 higher at $876.80 an ounce.

Speculation that the Federal Reserve will cut rates one final time sent the U.S. dollar .5-percent higher at 72.91. The metals markets reacted to the move in the dollar by trending lower on the day. July silver settled 48.3 cents lower at $16.64 an ounce.

July platinum settled $38.50 lower at $1,940.10 an ounce, June palladium settled $9.15 lower at $431.65 an ounce, and July copper settled 5 cents lower at $3.88 a pound.

Energy

Crude oil slid 2.6-percent today with the June contract settling $3.12 lower at $115.63 a barrel. A rising US dollar, and yesterday's restart of BP's North Sea oil pipeline, after a 2-day strike, sent crude lower on the session.

June RBOB gasoline settled 9.15 cents lower at $2.9392 a gallon, June heating oil settled 5.23 cents lower at $3.2465 a gallon, June natural gas settled 31.7 cents lower at$11.28 per million British thermal units.

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