Cattle Futures Close Limit Down, Hogs Rally


A deeper slump in wholesale-beef prices renewed worries about demand in the U.S. live-cattle market Tuesday, pushing futures to a two-year low.

October live cattle tumbled by the exchange-imposed daily limit of 300 points to $129, the lowest closing price for a front-month contract since Oct. 17, 2013. December Live-cattle also closed limit down at $134. October Feeder-cattle futures were down 445 at $180.

Hog futures, meanwhile, rallied as demand for pork continues to strengthen. October hog futures picked up 182 to 73.25, most-active December hogs gained 130 to 67.05.

Corn and soybean futures gained Tuesday as a government crop report neared, promising to update market participants on inventories in the following session. Wheat slid.

Soybeans rose, bolstered in part by speculation that USDA, in its quarterly stockpiles report on Wednesday could peg supplies of the oilseeds on Sept. 1, lower than expected. Corn also nudged higher, as reports of variable crop-yields from the Midwest supported the market. And wheat fell, buffeted in part by expectations the USDA on Wednesday will raise its forecasts for wheat production in 2015.

November Soybeans climbed 7 1/2 to $8.84, December corn added 2 1/4 to $3.89, December Chicago wheat slid 1 3/4 to $5.03, and December KC wheat fell 2 ¾ to $4.94.

Cotton futures inched higher again on Tuesday with the December contract gaining 25 to 61.00, and the March contract gaining 30 to 60.71.

Gold futures fell on Tuesday as stronger U.S. economic reports reanimated speculation about higher interest rates and sapped investor interest in the haven asset. December gold fell $4.90 to at $1,126.80, and December silver closed at $15.73, up 3.5 cents.

Oil prices rose Tuesday on expectations that upcoming data will show an accelerated slowdown in U.S. oil-production growth, despite global economic headwinds that could weigh on demand. November crude rose 80 to $45.23 a barrel, gasoline futures rose 1.44 cents to $1.36 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose 2.04 cents to $1.49 a gallon.

A burgeoning rally in natural gas prices deflated Tuesday as forecasts moderated for the first cool weather of the fall, with expectations fading for a strong start to heating season.  November Natural gas futures ended down 8.4 cents to $2.58.

On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 ended slightly higher after a volatile session on Tuesday, though concerns about the health of the global economy kept investors cautious after more than month of turbulence.  The Dow gained 47 to close at 16,049, the Nasdaq closed at 16,049, down 26 and the S&P 500 gained 2 to 1,884.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.