Cattle Futures Rally on Perceived Tight Supplies

Lean hogs futures slip lower, with traders speculating that a cash rally in hogs has finally run out of steam.  April lean hogs fell 52 to 67.60, and the May contract dropped 7 to 73.95.

Cattle futures rallied ahead of today’s online cattle auction with tighter supplies expected following a storm last week that disrupted finishing schedules.  April live cattle gained 242 to $117, the June contract gained 192 to $107, and March feeders gained 122 to $125.

Corn and soybean futures soared on signs President Trump could retool a federal mandate that sets annual requirements for how much ethanol and other biofuels must be mixed into the nation’s fuel supply. The Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry group, says it learned from the Trump administration that a pending executive order would make changes to the way ethanol is blended into US gasoline, which grain traders see as a boon for ethanol production as well as corn, the main feedstock in the biofuel. Potential changes to the mandate also are seen as positive for soybeans, used to make biodiesel.

March corn gained 6 ½ to $3.66, March soybeans gained 14 to $10.25, March Chicago wheat gained 6 to $4.24, and March KC wheat gained 7 ¼ to $4.51.

Cotton futures rose on Tuesday to 76.40, up 22 for the May contract and July closed at 77.48, up 21.

Crude prices pared losses but remained within their recent narrow trading band Tuesday as high levels of oil inventories in the U.S. continued to weigh on the market.

April crude fell 4 cents to $54.01 a barrel, Gasoline futures settled down 2.07 cents to $1.49 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell 1.91 cents to $1.62 a gallon.

Natural gas futures rallied Tuesday after prices fell to a level that triggered more buying. April Natural gas rose 8.1 cents to $2.77.

On Wall Street, stocks slipped Tuesday afternoon as a disappointing profit outlook from Target dragged down retailers and as investors braced for President Donald Trump’s address to Congress.  The Dow fell 25 to 20,812, the Nasdaq closed at 5,825, down 36, and the S&P 500 dropped 6 to 2,363.

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.