Commodity Futures Start the Week with a Bounce

Cattle futures rose on Monday as traders were buoyed by steadying prices in the cash market.

Expectations that high prices between feedyards and meatpackers could tumble have so far amounted to little, with sales still averaging above futures prices. That has given traders confidence that futures contracts have further room for gains, which rose for their fourth consecutive session on Monday.

April live cattle futures rose 105 to $121, the June contract gained 50 to $112, and April feeders gained 155 to $135.

Hog futures, however, were unchanged on Monday. April lean hog futures closed at 63.32,  and the May contract gained 35 to 69.35.

Grain futures bounced Monday, on the eve of a government supply-and-demand report that was expected to forecast increasing supplies.

Corn futures found some strength on heavy rains in Argentina, which have delayed the local corn harvest, while rains in the U.S. are also complicating early planting.

But those weather troubles aren’t expected to change the broader outlook of rising grain and oilseed supplies that USDA is expected to confirm in a report today.

Wheat futures rose, as regulatory data on Friday showed managed funds increasing their short positions.  Soybeans, however, were steady on Monday as traders will be closely watching the USDA’s domestic ending stocks estimate for 2016-2017, which analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect at 447 million bushels, up from its previous estimate of 435 million.

May corn rose 7 ½  to $3.67 May Chicago wheat rose 4 ¾  to $4.28, May KC wheat gained 3 ¾ to $4.25, and May soybeans closed at $9.41, down ¼.

Cotton futures started the week with a big bounce, with the May contract gaining 169 to 75.15, and July jumping 134 to 76.81.

Oil futures are on their longest winning streak since August as production outages in Libya and Canada, and concerns related to last week’s U.S. airstrike in Syria add further fuel to a rally.

Prices hit fresh one-month highs, the latest peak in a rally that has gone almost uninterrupted for two weeks. May crude gained 84 cents to $53.08 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose 1.19 cents to $1.75 a gallon, Diesel futures rose 1.89 cents to $1.64 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures fell Monday, continuing a small retreat from 2 1/2-month highs as analysts say mild weather may limit demand and the market’s ability to keep rallying.

May Natural gas fell 2.3 cents to $3.23.

On Wall Street, stocks ended a choppy session up slightly on Monday as gains in energy shares offset losses in financials ahead of bank quarterly earnings this week.  The Dow gained 2 to 20,658, the Nasdaq closed at 5,880, up 3 and the S&P 500 gained 1 to 2,357.

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.