Crop Reports Pummel Grain & Soybean Futures

Cattle futures bounced from a low for the year to close higher Tuesday as traders bet that prices had bottomed.

Contracts for live cattle have fallen from a seasonal peak in early June to trade at 2017 lows in July, sliding around 15% as seasonal pressures such as growing supplies and weaker beef demand pressure prices. August live cattle reversed course to rise 80 to $112, and October gained 92 to $112, as well.  August feeder cattle closed limit up at $149.

Hog futures, meanwhile, fell on continued weakness in the cash market.

August lean hog futures fell 50 to 79.80, and October fell 162 to $64.40.

Soybean futures fell more than 3% Tuesday after a report showed an unexpected improvement in the U.S. crop. USDA said late Monday that the share of the oilseed crop in good-or-excellent shape rose to 59% as of Sunday from 57% a week earlier. Analysts expected the good-or-excellent ratings to be steady to lower.

Combined with a turn for the better in weather forecasts across the central U.S., with more rain and cooler temperatures expected in the coming weeks, those ratings had traders rushing out of bets that soybean production would suffer this year. The sharp losses in the soybean market also weighed on corn and wheat futures.

August soybeans fell 35 to $9.59, September Chicago wheat fell 13 ¼ to $4.61, September KC wheat fell 9 ½ to $4.65, while September corn dropped 8 ¼  to $3.62.

Cotton futures stayed out of the fray of plunging row crop futures and gained on Tuesday with the October contract gaining 67 to 71.17, and December gaining 45 to 69.31.

Oil futures fell from a two-month high on Tuesday as investors once again began to doubt OPEC’s ability to curtail production and make a dent in the global supply glut.

September crude settled down $1.01 to $49.16 a barrel, September gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.66 a gallon, and September diesel dropped 2 cents to $1.64 a gallon.

Natural gas futures rebounded from a five-month low Tuesday, as bargain hunters jumped in and traders looked ahead to storage data due later this week.  September nat gas rose 2.5 cents to $2.81.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average racked up a fifth straight record high on Tuesday and neared the 22,000 mark, powered by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and other banks.  The Dow gained 72 to 21,963, the Nasdaq closed at 6,362, up 14 and the S&P 500 gained 6 to 2,476.

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.