Cattle futures closed at their highest level in a year after prices rose at an online auction.
Futures have rallied for 10 consecutive days to close the gap with cash prices, which have been buoyed by strong consumer demand for beef. USDA reported that more cash trade took place in the southern plains. Prices ranged from $130 to $132. That could give futures further room to rally as traders try to meet going rates on the cash markets. Hog futures fell for a third consecutive day. Prices on the cash market are into their fourth week of decline.
April live cattle futures rose 115 to $127, the June contract gained 30 to $115, and April feeders closed unchanged at $138.
June lean hog contract dropping 155 to 69.95, and the July contract lost 140 to 71.50.
Corn and soybean futures recovered Wednesday after sharp losses earlier this week.
Improving planting conditions, lower-than-expected soybean crush rates and the continued specter of bumper South American harvests have pressured prices this week.
But current levels found some support in Wednesday’s session as traders checked short positions. U.S. farmers are planting this year’s corn crop slower than usual as wet weather delays fieldwork. Wheat futures fell, undoing a small recovery Tuesday. With acreage lower this year, analysts say demand may be able to start eating into stocks in the near future.
May soybean futures rose 4 ¼ to $9.50, corn futures closed unchanged at $3.61, May Chicago wheat futures fell 3 ½ to $4.19, and May KC wheat dropped 2 ½ to $4.16.
Cotton futures regained Tuesday’s losses, and then some with the May contract gaining 85 to 77.67, and July gaining 16 to 78.32.
Crude futures had their worst day in over a month after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected increase in gasoline supplies.
May crude futures fell $1.97 to $50.44 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 5.2 cents to $1.65, and Diesel futures fell 4.06 cents to $1.58 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures rallied from a two-week low on Wednesday, supported by the prospect of cooler temperatures.
May nat gas gained 4 cents to $3.18.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Dow closed lower and the Nasdaq advanced on Wednesday as investors digested the latest round of earnings, while a drop in oil prices weighed on the energy sector. The Dow fell 118 to 20,404, the Nasdaq closed at 5,863, up 13, and the S&P 500 fell 4 to 2,338.