Cattle Futures Continue to Rise

Cattle futures rose on Wednesday as rising beef prices underpinned strength in the market.

That was despite another slow online auction Wednesday morning. That’s the result of a lingering standoff between feedyards and beefpackers. Recent tight supplies led to high prices, which encouraged feedyards to sell their cattle ahead of schedule. Hog futures, however, fell. Packers have also been well supplied in the hog trade, and are producing high levels of pork.

April live cattle futures rose 95 to $124, the June contract gained 65 to $114, and April feeders gained 32 to $137.

April lean hog contracts dropped 42 to 62.22, and May lost 155 to 68.02.

Soybean futures bounced on Wednesday despite the looming prospect of growing South American harvests.

Prices had touched a year-low on Tuesday after USDA raised its forecast for South American soybean harvests, as well as for domestic and global stockpiles. Corn futures also rose even though the USDA similarly ramped up its production and stockpile estimates for the grain. Brazil’s corn crop is now expected at a record 93.5 million metric tons, up from 91.5 million in March. Wheat was steady

But May soybean futures reversed course to rise 8 1/2 to $9.47, May corn futures rose  2 ½  to $3.69, May Chicago what futures closed unchanged at $4.33, and May KC wheat gained ¼ to $4.30.

Cotton futures dropped slightly with little news to trade on.  May cotton fell 28 to 74.43, and July fell 20 to 76.23.

Oil futures ended a six-session streak of gains after federal data showed U.S. crude output continued its relentless growth.

Crude slid, giving up earlier gains, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported U.S. producers boosted their output by 36,000 barrels a day last week, continuing a two-month string of weekly increases.

May crude futures settled down 29 cents at $53.11 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 1.6 cents to $1.74 a gallon, and Diesel futures gained a fraction to $1.65 a gallon.

Natural gas rose Wednesday, pausing from a sharp selloff that had sent prices tumbling in recent days.

May Natural gas snapped a three-session streak of losses to settle up 3.7 cents at $3.18.

On Wall Street, stocks eased on Wednesday and the S&P 500 closed below a key technical level for the first time since Election Day, pressured by lingering geopolitical concerns and President Donald Trump’s comments on the dollar and interest rates.  The Dow fell 59 to 20,591, the Nasdaq closed at 5,836, down 30 and the S&P 500 fell 8 to 2,344.

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.