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Commodity Market Summary

April 30, 2008


Soybeans moved 1.6-percent higher today, with the July contract settling up 20 1/2 cents at $13.14 a bushel. News reports that farmers in Argentina will most likely resume their strike, fueled speculation that demand for the US soybean crop will increase. Farmers in Argentina protesting the fact that the government has increased the export tax from 35 to 44 percent.

Soy-oil closed nearly 1-percent higher with the July contract settling 51 points higher at 58.33 cents per pound. Spill-over strength from soybeans, and higher overnight vegetable oil sent soy-oil higher on the session.

Rice settled limit-down for the third straight session, with the July contract settling the expanded limit of $1.15 lower at $21.78 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.

Hoping to ease tight supplies, the Thai government this week approved the release of 2.1 million tons of stockpiled rice for the domestic market. Traders are speculating that other countries that have horded crops will start to release some as well.

May oats jumped over 2-percent, with the May contract settling 8 1/2 cents higher at $3.77 a bushel, July wheat settled 7 1/2 cents lower to $8.01 per bushel, July soy-meal settled $9.20 higher at $342.20 per short ton, and July soy-oil finished 51 points higher.


Orange juice fell nearly 4-percent with the July contract settling 490 points lower at $1.1945 a pound. Strength in the greenback, and favorable harvesting conditions in Brazil, the largest grower of oranges, was noted for today's heavy selling.

Sugar fell to a 1-month low with the July contract settling 6 points lower at 11.81 cents a pound. A larger than expected build in U.S. crude inventories sent crude lower and took sugar, which is used to produce ethanol, along for the ride.

July cocoa settled $1 higher at $2,776 a metric ton, July coffee settled 35 points higher at $1.0220 a pound, and July cotton settled 57 points higher at 71.17 cents a pound.


Hogs settled higher today with June lean hogs settling 92 points higher at 73.47 cents a pound. Short covering, combined with lower hog weight, was noted for the days gain. May pork bellies settled 140 points higher at 75.40 cents a pound.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed-beef wire reported choice cuts gained .15 per hundredweight and select items were .15 per hundredweight higher.

Cattle closed higher on the session with June live cattle settling 70 points higher at 93.47 cents a pound. Spill-over strength from climbing pigs, and higher cash prices sent beef higher. August feeder cattle settled 30 points higher at 108.52 cents.


Gold fell 1.3-percent on the regular session before jumping nearly $15 an ounce in electronic trading. The upward move in gold occurred after the Federal Reserve announced that they would cut the fed funds rate by 25 basis points. The Federal Reserve cut short-term Fed Funds rate, for the fourth time this year, by a quarter percentage point to 2-percent. This was in-line with market expectations.

The news sent the U.S. dollar lower and spurred buying in the precious metals complex. June gold settled $11.70 lower at $865.10 an ounce.

July silver settled 5 cents lower at $16.59 an ounce, July platinum settled $4.90 lower at $1,935.20 an ounce, June palladium settled $8.90 lower at $422.75 an ounce, and July copper settled 2 cents higher at $3.90 a pound.


Crude oil slid nearly 2-percent today with the June contract settling $2.17 lower at $113.46 a barrel. A restart of BP's North Sea oil pipeline and a larger than expected build in crude inventories sent crude lower on the session.

U.S. stockpiles of crude oil inventories climbed 3.85 million barrels to 319.9 million barrels week ending April 25, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported today. The build was larger than what the market expected.

June RBOB gasoline settled 2.2 cents lower at $2.9107 a gallon, June heating oil settled 2.19 cents lower at $3.255 a gallon, June natural gas settled nearly unchanged at$10.83 per million British thermal units.

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