Cattle Futures Close Limit Up on Oversupply of Feed Grains

Cattle futures rose to their upper daily limits on Wednesday as feed prices dipped on government supply-and-demand figures.

USDA raised its projections for domestic and global corn stocks above expectations. That helped send futures contracts for corn down. Hog futures closed higher on the broader strength in the livestock markets, and higher pork prices also helped.

August live cattle futures closed limit up at $117, the October contract also closed limit up at $117, and August Feeder cattle bounced 450 to $151

August lean hog futures inched 42 higher to 82.62, the October contract gained 10 to 69.27.

Wheat futures fell on forecasts for a bigger-than-expected U.S. harvest this year despite continuing drought in the Great Plains.

Sizzling temperatures in the northern Plains, where much of the spring wheat crop is grown, won’t dent total wheat production as much as expected this year, USDA said in a monthly report. Corn futures were lower. Erratic weather is stressing corn and soybean crops, and analysts expect the situation to get worse.

September Chicago wheat fell 16 to $5.37, September KC wheat dropped 13 ½ to $5.44, September corn futures fell 16 to $3.87, and August soybean futures traded 8 ½ lower at $10.20

Cotton futures followed other commodities lower with the October contract fallin 2 to 68.13, and December new crop falling 40 to 67.27.

Oil futures made small gains in topsy-turvy trading tied to falling U.S. inventories. August crude gained 45 cents to $45.49 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained a fraction to $1.52 a gallon, and Diesel futures lost a fraction to $1.47 a gallon.

Natural gas futures retreated Wednesday on slightly cooler weather forecasts and fears of oversupply, brokers said.  August Natural gas fell 6.2 cents to $2.98.

On Wall Street, stocks rose on Wednesday afternoon after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said interest rates hikes would be gradual and rates will not have to rise much further to reach a neutral level.  The Dow gained 123 to 21,532, the Nasdaq closed at 6,261, up 67, and the S&P 500 gained 17 to 2,443.

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.