Rice closed limit-up for the second straight day, with the July contract settling 75 cents higher at $22.35 per hundredweight. Myanmar's cyclone that devastated the region has reportedly damaged the country's main rice-growing region. Speculation that Myanmar will need to import rice sent rice limit-up on the session.
Corn closed at a fresh contract-high, with the July contract settling 17 1/4 cents higher at $6.30 1/4 a bushel. Soggy fields in the U.S. Midwest have prevented many farmers from getting the corn crop into the ground.
Forecasts call for rain throughout the Midwest into the weekend. Weather this time of year in the Midwest can be very volatile with forecasts usually being met with skepticism.
Soybeans closed modestly higher today, with the July contract settling 1 cent higher at $13.10 a bushel. Rising energy prices, and speculation that Argentinean farmers will resume their protests over higher export tax sent soy higher on fears of increasing demand on tight U.S. supplies.
The crude oil influence on soy-oil, which is used to produce bio-diesel, resulted in a gain of .5-percent today with the July contract settling 39 points higher at 59.55 cents per pound. July soy-meal settled $1.00 higher at $335.20 per short ton.
July wheat settled 14 1/2 cents higher at $8.22 per bushel, and July oats fell 1 cent at $4.14 1/2 a bushel.
Coffee closed 2.6-percent higher today, with the July contract settling 345 points higher at $1.3455 a pound. Forecasts for below normal temperatures in Minas Gerais, Brazil's largest producing region, with expectations that frost could damage the crop sent coffee higher on the session.
Cocoa closed 1-percent higher today, with the July contract settling $27 higher at $2,709 a metric ton. Weakness in the U.S. dollar sent cocoa modestly higher on the session.
July cotton settled 48 points higher at 70.85 cents a pound, July sugar settled 27 points lower at 11.46 cents a pound, and July orange juice settled 145 points lower at $1.2045 a pound.
Pork bellies settled limit-up, with the July contract settling 300 points higher at 79.77 cents a pound. Strong demand and rising cash prices continue to send hogs higher. June lean hogs settled 120 points higher at 76.47 cents a pound.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed beef wire reported choice cuts gained $0.03 per hundredweight, while select items were $0.15 per hundredweight higher.
Cattle closed over 1-percent higher today, with June live cattle settling 182 points higher at 93.65 cents a pound. Growing demand and strength in the boxed-beef wire sent cattle mostly higher on the session. August feeder cattle settled 120 points higher at 109.47 cents.
Gold closed 1.3-percent higher today, with the June contract settling $10.90 higher at $882.10 an ounce. The U.K.'s London-based central bank kept base interest rate unchanged at 5 percent.
The U.K.'s decision to hold interest rates unchanged after three 25 basis-point cuts since early December sent the greenback lower. Falling value of the U.S. dollar and climbing oil prices increases demand for precious metals as a hedge against inflation.
July silver settled 17.5 cents higher at $16.87 an ounce, July platinum settled $73.30 higher at $2,042.30 an ounce, and June palladium settled $10.15 higher at $435.90 an ounce.
Crude oil settled modestly higher today, with the June contract settling 16 cents higher at $123.69 a barrel. Weakness in the U.S. dollar, and rising demand for distillate fuels, on huge demand for diesel fuel in Asia, was noted for today's strength.
June heating oil settled 6.25 cents higher at $3.5098 a gallon, June RBOB gasoline settled 1.96 cents higher at a record $3.1378 a gallon and June natural gas settled 6.4 cents lower at $11.263 per million British thermal units.
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