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Commodity Market Summary

April 21, 2008


Corn fell over 3-percent, with the May contract settling 19 1/4 cents lower at $5.80 1/4 a bushel. Since springtime is when planting season occurs in the Midwest, weather related news often has a significant impact on the market. Much of the weather premium is being sucked out of the market, as warm dry conditions are providing near optimal planting conditions. Fears of excessive rain with some flooding sent the market to record highs last week.

Soybeans fell sharply Monday, with the may contract settling 46 cents lower at $13.15 1/2 a bushel. A lack of fresh demand news, weak Asian prices overnight and selling pressure from overbought market conditions dragged the marked lower. July soy-meal settled $10.40 lower at $341.30 per short ton, and July Soy-oil settled 202 points lower at 59.72 cents per pound.

Wheat fell to a 5-month low, with the July contract settling 25 1/2 cents lower at $8.59 1/2 a bushel. Speculation that U.S. crop conditions are improving, and news that Canadian farmers will increase fields sown with wheat by 16 percent sent the market nearly 3-percent lower on the day.

Rice closed lower for the first time in over a week, with the May contract settling 36 cents lower at $23.35 per hundredweight. Profit-taking was noted for today's action.


Orange juice tumbled 6-percent today, with the May contract settling 680 points lower at $1.1300 a pound. Improved weather conditions in Florida- with reported rainfall of up to 4 1/2 inches over dry groves- sent the market sharply lower today.

Cotton settled modestly lower with the July contract settling 125 points lower at 73.35 cents a pound. Spill-over pressure from falling grain prices was noted for much of today's action.

Sugar slid 5.3-percent today, with the July contract settling .7 lower at 12.59 cents a pound. Production increases from Brazil, the world's largest exporter, sent sugar sharply lower on the session.

May coffee settled 385 points lower at $1.3140 a pound, and May cocoa settled $21 higher at $2,721 a metric ton.


Cattle futures settled higher, with April live cattle closing 47 points higher at 90.02 cents a pound. Climbing boxed beef prices amid stronger demand was noted for much of the rally in cattle market today. April feeder cattle settled 5 points higher at 101055 cents a pound.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed-beef wire today reported choice cuts jumped 1.54 cents a pound and select items were 1.06 cents a pound higher.

Hog futures settled lower on the session with June lean hogs settling 137 points lower at 72.97 cents a pound, and May pork bellies settled 242 points lower at 75.77 cents.


Platinum fell over 2-percent with the July contract settling $44 lower at $2027.30 an ounce. Platinum's decline was attributed to concerns that the slowing U.S. economy will slow demand for platinum in the auto industry. The auto industry accounts for about 60-percent of platinum demand.

Gold closed modestly higher with the June contract settling $2.40 higher at $917.60 an ounce. Strength in the energy complex and a .2 percent decline in the U.S. dollar increases demand for precious metals as a hedge against inflation.

May silver settled 46 cents lower at $17.36 an ounce, June palladium settled $10.90 lower at $462.50 an ounce, and May copper settled 2 cents lower to $3.87 a pound.


Crude oil settled at a fresh all-time high for the sixth consecutive session with the May contract settling 79 cents higher at $117.48 a barrel. Attacks on two Shell pipelines in the Niger Delta, an attack on a Japanese oil tanker in the Middle East, and a threatened strike by Scottish oil refinery workers sent crude to a new record.

May heating oil settled 1.9 cents higher at $3.3114 a gallon, RBOB gasoline settled about a penny lower at $2.9791 a gallon, and May natural gas settled 14.6 cents higher at $10.733 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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