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Commodity Market Summary

April 16, 2008

Grains

Corn settled lower for the first time in three sessions, with the May contract closing 2 1/2 cents lower at $6.03 ½ a bushel.

Soybeans fell nearly 3-percent on the session, with the May contract sliding 35 1/4 cents to settle at $13.44 3/4 a bushel. Profit-taking and technical selling was noted for today's decline. Soybeans have climbed 16-percent over the past 2-weeks.

Rice settled at a fresh all-time high, with the May contract closing 38 cents higher at $22.55 per hundredweight. Tight global supplies with strong demand continue to send rice higher. Rice has gained over 50-percent over the past 4 months.

Wheat settled 3-percent higher, with the may contract closing 28 3/4 cents higher at $9.24 1/2 a bushel. An unwinding of the long corn/soybeans short wheat spread was noted for some of today's action in wheat.

May oats fell 6 1/2 cents to settle at $3.86 1/2 a bushel, July soy-meal settled $8.80 lower at $344.80 per short ton, and July soy-oil settled 99 points lower at 62.28 cents per pound.

Softs

Cotton fell over 2-percent today, with the May contract settling 169 points lower at 73.54 cents a pound. Outside market pressure from falling corn and soybeans pushed cotton lower on the session. Cotton had gained over 7-percent in the past week.

Cocoa continued higher Tuesday, with the may contract settling $46 higher at $2,686 a metric ton. Weakness in the U.S. dollar has helped push cocoa over 16-percent higher over the past week.

May coffee settled 55 points higher at $1.3475 a pound, May orange juice settled 95 points higher at $1.1645 a pound, and May sugar settled 2 points lower at 12.65 cents a pound.

Meats

Cattle futures settled higher, with April live cattle closing 57 points higher at 90.05 cents a pound. Climbing boxed beef prices was noted for much of the rally in cattle market today. April feeder cattle settled 25 points higher at 100.40 cents a pound.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed-beef wire today reported choice cuts jumped 1.55 cents a pound and select items jumped .90 cents a pound.

Pork bellies closed lower, with the May contract settling 180 points lower at 78.15 cents a pound. Profit-taking after climbing 18-percent over the past 2 weeks was noted for much of today's decline. June lean hogs closed 12 points lower at 73.97 cents a pound.

Metals

Gold closed 1.7-percent higher today, with the June contract settling $16.30 higher at $948.30 an ounce. Rising energy prices combined with a decline in the U.S. dollar increases the appeal of precious metals as a hedge against inflation. May silver settled 47.5 cents higher at $18.325 an ounce.

Speculation that the European Central Bank will hold interest rates firm in an attempt to curb inflation sent the Euro higher at $1.5979 versus the dollar.

Copper gained 2.5-percent today, with the July contract settling 9.5 cents higher at $3.955 a pound. Strong global demand is increasing concerns over tight global supplies. China's first-quarter GDP climbed 10.6 percent, the national statistics bureau reported today in Beijing.

Energy

Crude oil climbed to a fresh all-time high, with the May contract gaining $1.14 to settle at $114.93 an ounce. A decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, and an unexpected decline in U.S. crude inventories sent crude oil to an intra-day record high of $115.14 a barrel.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell 2.36 million barrels to 313.7 million barrels in the week that ended April 11, the Energy Department reported today. Analysts were expecting a build of 1.8 million barrels.

Refinery utilization fell another 1.6-percent in the week that ended April 11. Analysts were expecting a rise in utilization by .7-percent. The shocking decline sent May RBOB gasoline futures 5.8 cents higher to settle at a new record high of $2.939 a gallon.

May heating oil futures settled 0.91 cent higher at $3.283 a gallon, and May natural gas settled 22.8 cents higher at $10.433 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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