April 15, 2008
Corn settled over 2-percent higher with the May contract closing 14 1/4 cents lower at $6.06 a bushel. Concerns that farmers in the U.S. Midwest will encounter further planting delays because of excessive moisture was once again noted for today's gain. Analysts anticipate the crop is 2%-4% planted as of Sunday. The 10-year planting average at this time of year is 6-percent.
Forecasts for a narrow but extremely heavy rain system with the potential of 2.00 inches may fall on portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and southeastern Iowa later this week.
Soybeans settled modestly higher with the May contract settling 7 1/2 cents higher at $13.80 a bushel. Spill-over strength from rising energy prices, and weather concerns in Argentina was noted for today's rally.
The crude oil influence on soy-oil, which is used to produce bio-diesel, resulted in a gain of nearly 2-percent today with the May contract settling 102 points higher at 62.52 cents per pound. May soy-meal settled $1.40 higher at $348.80 per short ton.
Rice settled limit-up with the May contract settling 75 cents higher at $22.17 per hundredweight. Tight global supplies with strong demand continue to send rice higher. May oats settled 7 cents higher at $3.93 a bushel.
Wheat settled mixed today, with the May CBOT contract closing 1/4 cent lower at $9.50 1/4 a bushel. May hard red spring wheat settled 1/2 cent higher at $12.32 1/2 a bushel.
Orange juice closed higher for the second time in a week, with the May contract settling 4.35 cents higher at $1.1550 a pound. Shorts were covering after the market declined nearly 10-percent last week. Orange juice inventories rose from 91.923 million to 95.042 million gallons last week.
Cotton settled 1.7-percent higher with the May contract gaining 1.21 cents to settle at 75.23 cents a pound. Spill-over strength from rising grain prices sent cotton higher as the acreage battle continues.
May sugar settled 30 points higher at 12.67 cents a pound, May coffee settled 310 points higher at $1.3420 a pound, and July cocoa settled $29 higher at $2,589 a metric ton.
Pork bellies continued higher today with the April contract gaining 257 points to settle at 79.95 cents a pound. Short covering and commercial buyers were active on speculation that the falling U.S. dollar will spark additional overseas demand was noted for today's huge rally. Pork bellies have gained nearly 20-percent in the past 2-weeks.
The USDA's mid-day boxed-beef wire today reported choice cuts jumped 1.62 cents a pound and select items soared 1.29 cents a pound.
April lean hogs settled 217 points lower at 74.10 cents a pound, April live cattle settled 32 points higher at 89.47 cents a pound, and April feeder cattle settled 60 points higher at 100.15 cents.
Gold settled higher for the second straight session, with the July contract gaining $3.30 to settle at $932 an ounce. Gold was higher on spill-over strength from rising energy prices, while the upside was held in check by the strengthening U.S. dollar. Gold is down nearly 10-percent from the March 17th record of $1,033.90 an ounce.
Copper fell for the second straight day, with the May contract settling 3.75 cents lower at $3.859 a pound. Strength in the U.S. dollar was sited for today's decline after reaching a record high last week.
May silver settled 6 cents higher at $17.85 an ounce, July platinum settled $4.50 higher at $1,986 an ounce, and June palladium settled $9.05 lower at $453.75 an ounce.
Crude oil popped to an all-time high with the May contract settling $2.03 higher at $113.79 a barrel. News that output from Russia fell for the first time in a decade, combined with shrinking inventories reported by the Energy Information Administration last week sent crude to a fresh all-time high.
Gasoline futures jumped to an all-time high with the May contract settling 5.92 cents higher at a record $2.881 a gallon. The Energy Department expects gas prices to average as much as $3.60 a gallon this summer, with a potential for a spike as high as $4 a gallon. They also expect summer gasoline demand to fall for the first time in 17 years.
Heating oil settled modestly higher at $3.2029 a gallon, and natural gas settled more than 15 cents higher at $10.053 per 1,000 cubic feet.