Cotton Futures Soar on Weather Issues

Hog futures leaped as a slump in meat and cash prices halted.

October Lean hog futures rose 230 to 63.75, touching their upper daily limit of 64.45 earlier in the session. That was the highest close since August 24. The hog market found added strength after climbing past technical support levels.  December gained 212 to 60.17.

Cattle futures, meanwhile, were mixed, closing lower despite a late-morning surge.

October live cattle fell 72 to $104, December dropped 10 to $109, and September feeder cattle dropped 67 to $142. Futures rallied as cash-market hog and pork prices, which have fallen recently on the back of softer demand, turned higher.

Grain and soybean futures rose, extending gains from last week as weather concerns mounted.

Traders were monitoring the Category 5 Hurricane Irma, which could hit Florida by the weekend and potentially affect crops in the Gulf or the Carolinas. Meanwhile, analysts said dryness in the Midwest could stress crops in states such as Iowa and Illinois, reducing quality as corn and soybeans mature.

A late start to the growing season in some regions also leaves crops vulnerable to early freezes, especially in the northern Plains. Soybean prices led gains.

September delivery rose 18 ½  to $9.60, September corn rose 4 ¼  to $3.44, September Chicago wheat rose 10 to $4.30, and September KC wheat gained 7 to $3.19.

Cotton futures soared Tuesday as traders braced for the possibility that a second hurricane could strike the U.S. later this week in crucial growing regions.  Hurricane Irma grew into a category 5 storm Tuesday. The storm is moving through the Caribbean, with the potential to strike the continental U.S. by the weekend.  Cotton for December rose 300 to 74.88, the October contract gained 271 to 75.26.

Crude oil prices jumped higher Tuesday morning and gasoline prices slid, as shuttered refineries and other oil infrastructure continued to restart in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Pipelines, refineries and ports were forced to shut down as the storm approached earlier this month and remained closed as it lingered, dousing much of the Gulf Coast with rain and causing historic flooding.

But major pipelines are once again carrying crude from Texas oil fields to the Gulf, where some refineries are able to start buying again and ports in Houston and Corpus Christi are allowing cargoes of oil and fuel to come in and out.  October crude gained $1.33 to $48.62 a barrel, October gasoline fell 6 cents to $1.69 a gallon, and October natural gas fell 10 cents to $2.97.


On Wall Street, stocks sank on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 stumbling to its biggest single-day loss in about three weeks, as investors weighed fresh tensions with North Korea.  The Dow plunged 234 to 21,753, the Nasdaq closed at 6,375, down 59 and the S&P 500 fell 18 to 2,457.

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.