Cattle Futures Extend Rally

Cattle futures extended a recent rally Monday on unexpected gains in the cash trade.

Analysts largely expected prices on the cash market to slide before a reversal last week pushed them back towards highs last seen in March.

That gave added impetus for buying in the futures market, where prices have risen for eight consecutive days.

Hog futures continued a downward trend that has proceeded largely uninterrupted since mid-March. In contrast to beef, pork prices are stagnating.

April live cattle futures gained 105 to $126, the June contract gained 87 to $115, and April feeders gained 125 to $139.

April lean hogs fell 57 to 61.97, and June dropped 15 to 72.35.

Grain and soybean futures fell on Monday as weather concerns weighed on the market.

Traders returned from a long Easter weekend to drier forecasts for the U.S. corn belt, killing a rally that started last week on expectations that rain would significantly delay plantings and encourage some farmers to switch their crop to soybeans.

Any drop in acreage in this year’s harvest would be welcome news for traders.  That took some pressure off soybean prices despite data showing lower-than-expected processing rates. Wheat futures fell with more beneficial rain expected to douse the new crop.

May corn futures fell 4 ½ to $3.66, May soybeans fell 2 ¼  to $9.53, May Chicago wheat dropped 8 ¾ to $4.21, and May KC wheat fell 11 to $4.16.

Cotton futures rose Monday, buoyed by continuous strong demand for U.S.-grown fiber from overseas.  Cotton for July delivery rose 163 to settle at 78.17, the October contract fell 41 to 73.50

Crude oil futures fell with the May contract dropping 62 cents to $52.56 a barrel, May gasoline dropped 2 cents to $1.72 a gallon, and May diesel fell 2 cents as well to $1.63 a gallon.

Natural gas futures saw a big tumble on Monday with warm weather here to stay.  May nat gas fell 6 cents to $3.17.

On Wall Street, stocks bounced back on Monday after the S&P 500 closed the previous session at a two-month low, in a broad rally led by recently beaten-down bank and technology shares.

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.