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Commodity Market Summary

April 9, 2008

Grains

Corn jumped to a fresh record high, with the May contract settling 13.75 cents higher at $6.05 a bushel. Estimates that world corn reserves will fall to 103 million metric tons, the smallest reserve since 1984 was noted for the bullish sentiment. This sent corn 2.2-percent higher on the session.

According to USDA data, U.S. inventories of corn is pegged at 35.8 days of estimated consumption before this year's harvest, down from 42.5 days a year earlier and 63.7 days two years ago.

Soybeans soared to a 2-week high, with the May contract settling 61 1/2 cents higher at $13.13 a bushel. Record high crude oil prices, U.S. dollar weakness, and speculation that Argentina farmers will strike was noted for today's near 5-percent gain.

The crude oil influence on soy-oil, which is used to produce bio-diesel, resulted in a gain of nearly 4-percent today with the May contract settling 223 points higher at 58.07 cents per pound. May soy-meal settled $19.80 higher at $349.60 per short ton.

May wheat settled unchanged at 9.34 per bushel, May oats gained 18 1/2 cents to settle at $3.89, and May rice settled 22 cents higher at $20.70 per hundredweight.

Softs

Cotton climbed over 2.7-percent higher today, with the May contract settling 191 points higher at 73.85 cents a pound. Spill-over strength from the soybeans and crude oil sent the market higher. No surprises in today's USDA supply/demand report left the market to trade on overall CRB strength.

Orange juice fell 3.6-percent today, with the May contract settling .52 cents lower at 12.40 cents a pound. The USDA raised the Florida 2007-08 orange production estimate by 1.5 million 90-pound boxes to total 168.5 million boxes. The production increase sent the market lower.

May sugar settled 52 points higher at 12.40 cents a pound, May cocoa settled $88 higher at $2,376 a metric ton, May coffee settled 3.6 cents higher at $1.3680 a pound.

Meats

Pork bellies bucked a five day rally to settle lower on the session, with the May contract settling 1.37 cents lower at 72.60 cents a pound. Profit-taking after settling higher five straight sessions was noted for today's pull-back.

The USDA's mid-day boxed-beef wire today reported choice cuts gained .71 cents a pound and select items gained .94 cents.

April lean hogs settled .27 cents higher at 59.42 cents a pound, April live cattle settled 1.10 cents lower at 86.77 cents a pound, and April feeder cattle settled 1.32 cents lower at 100.82 cents.

Metals

Gold closed higher for the fifth out of the last six sessions with the June contract settling $19.50 higher at $937.50 an ounce. Crude climbing to a new record high and strength in the US dollar increases precious metals appeal as a hedge against inflation.

Copper closed at $4 a pound for the first time ever, with the May contract settled 11 cents higher at $4.00 a pound. Speculation that copper supplies will not be sufficient enough to support demand was noted for today's record level.

May silver settled 49.2 cents higher at $18.20 an ounce, July platinum settled $15 higher at $2,044.60 an ounce, and June palladium settled $5.80 higher at $463.20 an ounce.

Energy

Crude oil climbed to a record high, with the May contract settling $2.37 higher at a record $110.87 a barrel. A drawdown in crude inventories reported by the EIA today caught traders off guard as they expected inventories to increase.

The EIA reported crude oil inventories fell by a surprising 3.2 million barrels last week. Analysts were expecting an increase of 2.4 million barrels.

Natural gas closed over 3.5-percent higher today, with the May contract settling 35.9 cents higher at $10.056 per 1,000 cubic feet. Strength in crude oil, weakness in the US dollar, and speculation that a Gulf Coast pipeline may be off-line for a month sent natural gas higher.

May RBOB gasoline settled 2.38 cents higher at $2.7742 a gallon, May heating oil settled 12.43 cents higher at $3.2345 a gallon.

 

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