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Commodity Market Summary

April 8, 2008

Grains

Soybeans fell for the second straight session, with the May contract settling 3 1/2 cents lower at $12.51 1/2 a bushel. Favorable planting conditions in the U.S. Midwest, and consolidation in front of Wednesday's supply and demand report were noted for today's modest decline.

Wheat closed 1.4-percent higher with the May contract gaining 12 3/4 cents to settle at $9.34 a bushel. Wheat rebounded from yesterday's 5.7-percent decline on news that Pakistan will produce less wheat than forecasted due to high fertilizer costs.

Rice futures slid limit-down early in the session, with the May contract settling 52 cents lower at $20.48 per hundredweight. Profit-taking after export bans, and tight global supplies pushed the market to a record high Monday.

May corn settled 1 1/4 cent higher $5.91 1/4 a bushel, May soymeal settled $.20 lower at $329.80 per short ton, and May soyoil settled 13 points lower at 55.84 cents a pound.

Softs

Cotton fell over 1-percent with the May contract settling 86 points lower at 71.94 cents a pound. Positioning in front of Wednesday's crop report was noted for today's modest decline.

May coffee settled 40 points lower at $1.3320 a pound, May orange juice lost 10 points to settle at $1.1765 a pound, May sugar settled 24 points lower at 11.88 cents a pound, and May cocoa settled $27 lower at $2,288 a metric ton.

Meats

Pork bellies settled higher for the fifth straight session, with the May contract gaining .925 cents higher at 73.975 cents a pound. Stronger cash prices and speculation that the falling U.S. dollar will spark additional overseas demand added to the bullish sentiment.

The USDA's mid-day boxed-beef wire today reported choice cuts gained 1.10 cents a pound and select items gained 1.24 cents.

April lean hogs settled .25 cents higher at 59.15 cents a pound, April live cattle settled unchanged at 87.87 cents a pound, and April feeder cattle settled .57 cents higher at 99.57 cents.

Metals

Gold closed lower for the first time in a week, with the June contract settling $8.80 to $918 an ounce. Today's strength in the U.S. dollar and speculation that it may continue reduces the appeal of precious metals as a hedge against inflation.

Copper declined the most in nearly three-weeks with the May contract settling 8.9 cents lower at $3.8905 a pound. Increasing concerns that the U.S. slow down will decrease demand for copper that is used in wires and pipes for construction.

May silver settled 41.2 cents lower at $17.708 per ounce July platinum fell $17.30 to $2,029.60 an ounce and June palladium settled 25 cents lower at $457.40 an ounce.

Energy

Crude oil fell from near record levels, with the may contract settling 59 cents lower at $108.50 a barrel. The Energy Department said today that they expect summer gasoline demand to fall for the first time in 17 years; this news sent the market modestly lower on the session.

May RBOB gasoline settled 3.31 cents lower at $2.7504 a gallon, May heating oil settled 2.59 cents higher at $3.1102 a gallon and May natural gas settled 9.4 cents lower at $9.697 a million British thermal units.

 

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