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Commodity Market Summary

May 2, 2008


Crude oil jumped 3.4-percent higher today, with the June contract settling $3.80 higher at $116.32 per barrel. Rising geo-political tensions in the middle east and better than expected jobs data sent the crude oil significantly higher on the session.

Non-farm payrolls fell by 20,000 workers, with the unemployment rate falling to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in March, the Labor Department said. Analysts were expecting a loss of 75,000 jobs.

Turkish warplanes fired on suspected positions of the Kurdish Workers' Party, or PKK, in Iraq's oil-rich north.

June RBOB gasoline settled 8.82 cents higher at $2.9664 a gallon, June heating oil settled 10.10 cents higher at $3.2187 a gallon, and June natural gas settled 21.6 cents higher at $10.777 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Sugar closed over 1-percent higher with the July contract settling 14 points higher at 11.49 cents a pound. Sugar bounced higher on short covering and strength in the energy complex after falling to a 4-month low yesterday.

July cocoa settled $4 higher at $2,621 a metric ton, July coffee settled 15 points higher at $1.2940 a pound, July orange juice settled 325 points higher at $1.2155 a pound, and July cotton settled 31 points higher at 69.56 cents a pound.


Gold closed nearly 1-percent higher today with the June contract settling $7.10 higher at $858 an ounce. Gold bounced higher on short-covering after declining over $100 in the past 2 1/2 weeks. Gold settled $32 lower on the week.

July silver settled 26 cents higher at $16.47 an ounce, July platinum settled $25.90 higher at $1,908.20 an ounce, June palladium settled $4.50 higher at $420 an ounce, and July copper settled 13 cents higher at $3.82 a pound.


Soybeans gained 2.8-percent today, with the July contract settling 34 cents higher at $13.05 a bushel. Speculation that farmers in Argentina will resume their strike in protest of the governments increase on export tax from 35 to 44-percent increasing demand for the U.S. crop.

Strength in the energy complex pushed soy-oil, which is used to produce bio-diesel, over 1.5-percent higher with the July contract settling 87 points higher at 57.22 cents. July soy-meal settled $8.00 higher at $337.50 a ton.

Wheat bounced 2.5-percent higher, with the July contract settling 19 cents higher at $8.09 per bushel. Short covering after a decline of over 60-percent in the past 7 weeks gave the market a bounce higher on the session.

Corn closed modestly lower, with the July contract settling 3 3/4 cents lower at $6.13 1/2 a bushel. Scattered planting in the U.S. Midwest gave the bulls a pause after running up on concerns over planting delays.

Only 10-percent of the corn crop was planted in the top 18 producing states as of April 27, down from the five-year average of 35 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said after the close of trading Monday.

Rice bucked the trend of four straight limit-down sessions, with the July contract settling 31 cents higher at $20.94 1/2 per hundredweight. Short covering after falling over 17-percent on the week was noted for today's bounce higher.

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.


Cattle prices climbed today, with June live cattle settling 67 points higher at 92.12 cents a pound. Strength in the boxed-beef wire and speculation that the economy is turning the corner on strong economic data released today helped push cattle higher. August feeder cattle settled 87 points higher at 108.15 cents.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed-beef wire reported choice cuts gained $0.23 per hundredweight and select items were $0.39 per hundredweight higher.

Hogs closed higher today, with June lean hogs settling 85 points higher at 71.95 cents a pound. Short covering after a huge decline yesterday combined with Thursday's USDA's announcement that it would buy $50 million worth of pork for domestic programs sent hogs higher. July pork bellies settled 15 points higher at 74.70 cents a pound.

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