Lean hog futures faced stiff losses in front-month contracts as traders seized on signs that the highest meat prices for this spring and summer may be in the rear-view mirror. June hog futures slid 140 to 84.42, July futures closed down 60 to 85.55.
U.S. live cattle futures followed hog contracts lower on Wednesday as concerns about meat demand after Memorial Day added to selling tied to a sharp selloff in other stocks and commodity markets.
June live cattle closed down 155 at $117, May feeder cattle, which expire Thursday, finished down 10 at $152.
US grain and soy futures ended mixed, with soybeans falling on continued worries over possible cancellations by China and favorable crop weather forecasts. Wheat futures dropped on beneficial conditions for crops in key world production regions, with broader based weakness across many asset classes influencing soy and wheat as well. Meanwhile, corn bucked the lower trend, supported by tight supplies and fear rising wheat prices will dampen wheat livestock feeding options. July soy ended down 19 3/4 at $13.62, July wheat in Chicago dropped 20 to $6.65, July wheat in KC fell 15 to $6.86, and July corn rose 6 1/2 to $6.03
ICE cotton settled at a more than 2-year low as a stronger dollar and weaker outside markets gave futures a whipping. July cotton fell 301 to 71.51, and the October contract fell 339 to 70.41.
Gold futures slumped for a third day on Wednesday, as worries about the fallout from a potential Greek exit of the euro zone pushed investors to pile into the U.S. dollar. June delivery, fell $28.20, or 1.8%, to settle at $1,548.40, July silver $27.519, down 66.0 cents
Crude oil futures settled at a fresh seven-month low, breaking below $90 a barrel Wednesday, as the latest U.S. weekly oil data showed stockpiles remaining at 22-year highs amid sluggish demand. July crude fell $1.95 to $89.90 a barrel, June gasoline fell 6.47 cents to $2.87 a gallon, and June distillates fell 4.93 cents to $2.81 a gallon.
Natural gas futures advanced Wednesday ahead of a government survey expected to show a relatively modest addition to gas inventories, as demand from power plants remains elevated. June Natural gas gained 3 cents to$2.73.
On Wall Street, stocks pared losses sharply into the close, with both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 turning positive in a late-day reversal on Wednesday. The turnaround was led by shares of materials companies in the S&P 500, while Apple boosted technology shares. The Dow fell 6 to close at 12,496, the Nasdaq closed at 2,850, up 11, and the S&P 500 gained 2 to close at 1,318.