Cattle Futures Gain on Cash Market Activity

Live-cattle futures finished higher on signs that packers may be willing to pay more in the cash markets. Lean-hog futures were mixed.

August live-cattle futures closed up 30 at $149, August Feeder cattle were up 22 at $214

Lean-hog futures finished mostly higher. Still, Mr. Nelson said they’re likely poised to decline as traders begin to digest a coming increase in production. Pork supplies remain ample and slaughter numbers are expected to rise.

August hog futures, which expire on Friday, were up 80 at 78.65, April hogs were down 12 at 70.35

Grain and soybean futures swung higher Thursday due to skepticism over a recent crop report and increased demand for some crops.

Soybean prices surged, buoyed by debate among traders over crop estimates released by the USDA on Wednesday that suggested this autumn’s U.S. harvest will be much larger than analysts had anticipated. Corn prices also advanced, lifting due to an uptick in demand and skepticism over the USDA’s estimates for this year’s crop. Wheat prices climbed, bolstered as traders focused attention on USDA estimates for smaller-than-expected U.S. production in the 2015-16 crop year.

August Soybeans rose 42 to $9.93, September corn rose 6 1/2 to $3.63, September Chicago wheat gained 11 to $5.03, and September KC wheat gained 10 to $4.85.

Cotton futures moved higher Thursday in the wake of the government’s slashed outlook for the U.S. cotton crop, surprising investors who’d anticipated a bumper crop and ideal growing conditions.  December Cotton jumped 107 to close at 65.79, and near-month October gained 130 to 67.15.

Gold futures fell on Thursday after firm U.S. economic data reanimated investor concerns that the Federal Reserve is drawing closer to raising interest rates.  December gold fell $8 to $1,115.60, and September silver closed at $15.39, down 7.7 cents.

Crude oil prices fell to a new six-year low Thursday as a combination of worries about global economic growth to a strengthening dollar, increasing crude supplies and a major U.S. refinery outage weighed on the market.

September crude fell $1.07 to $42.23 a barrel, slipping below the low for the year set Tuesday and touching its lowest point since March 3, 2009, gasoline futures fell 4.94 cents to $1.71 a gallon, while diesel futures fell 1.82 cents, to $1.56 a gallon.

Natural gas futures slid Thursday as weekly U.S. inventory data rose more than expected, surprising bullish traders who expected lower supply growth as gas demand kicks in with the dog days of summer.  September natural gas fell 14.4 cents to $2.78.

On Wall Street, stocks ended near flat on Thursday as a drop in energy shares offset a rebound in retail sales and stronger-than-expected results from Cisco.  The Dow gained 5 to 17,408, the Nasdaq closed at 5,033, down 10 and the S&P 500 fell 2 to 2,083.

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.