Corn continued to retreat from Wednesday's record high, with the May contract settling 10 cents at $5.84 1/4 a bushel. Corn settled lower on favorable planting conditions forecasted for the U.S. Midwest and on continued profit-taking after climbing to a record high on Wednesday's bullish crop inventory report.

Soybeans fell nearly 2-percent with the May contract settling 23 1/2 cents lower at $8.96 1/2 a bushel. News that Argentine President Kirchner and farm group leaders were planning on meeting Friday with the hopes of avoiding a strike was noted for much of today's decline. 

Argentine farmers are expected to strike again at the beginning of next month if their concerns over a recent increase on the soy export tax from 35 to 44-percent are not addressed. 

May wheat settled 26 1/2 cents lower at $8.96 1/2 per bushel, May oats fell 2 1/4 cent to settle at $3.85 a bushel, May soy-meal settled $7.70 lower at $344.50 per short ton, and May soy-oil finished 23 points lower at 59.94 cents per pound. 


Orange juice closed lower for the fourth straight session, with the May contract settling .15 cents lower at $1.1060 a pound. Weak demand continues to weigh on orange juice. Wednesday, the USDA raised the Florida 2007-08 orange production estimate by 1.5 million 90-pound boxes to total 168.5 million boxes. 

Cotton closed modestly lower, with the May contract settling 59 cents lower 74.16 cents a pound. Profit-taking after climbing nearly 7-percent since Monday, was noted for today's action. 

May coffee settled 90 points lower at $1.3085 a pound, May sugar settled 18 points lower at 12.34 cents a pound, and May cocoa settled $72 higher at $2,541 a metric ton. 


Pork bellies settled limit-up, the largest daily move allowed by the CBOT, with the May contract settling 300 points higher at 74.73 cents a pound. An expectation for strong export sales, short covering and commercial buying was noted for much of today's action. 

May lean hogs settled 97 points higher at 69.77 a pound, April live cattle settled 22 points higher at 88.70 a pound, and April feeder cattle settled 375 points higher at 99.50 cents a pound. 


Silver led precious metals on the downside today, with the May contract settling 35.3 cents lower at $17.69 an ounce. Weakness in the U.S. dollar was not enough to support metals as gold declined for the second straight session. June gold settled $4.80 lower at $927 an ounce. 

Copper flirted with record levels, with the May contract settling 2.05 cents higher at $3.9445 a pound. Speculation that the weaker greenback will increase demand has sent copper 30-percent higher this year. 


Crude oil traded lower all day before moving slightly above par before the close. May crude oil settled 3 cents higher at $110.14 a barrel. Speculation that energy demand will fall in the face of record prices kept the market under water most of the session. 

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. May RBOB gasoline settled 1.52 cents lower at $2.8073 a gallon. 

Natural gas for May delivery settled 19.7 cents lower at $9.901 per 1,000 cubic feet. The Energy Department reported Thursday that natural gas supplies fell by 14 billion cubic feet last week. This was in line with analyst expectations. 

May heating oil settled .35 cents higher at $3.1975 a gallon.

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