Drought Concerns Pull Grain & Oilseed Futures Higher

Cattle futures fell to a low for the year on Wednesday after packers dropped bids at a closely watched online auction. Hog futures were higher as traders tried to close the gap between later month contracts and the cash market.

August Live cattle fell 220 to $113, October dropped 192 to $112, and August feeders dropped 387 to $142.

July hogs gained 135 to 92.05, and the August contract gained 17 to 84.57.

Wheat futures seesawed in a volatile session on Wednesday, closing upward after sliding as traders booked profits on a recent rally.

Drought conditions in the northern Plains have lifted futures for spring wheat, and concerns that some of that hot and dry weather could drift eastward into Midwestern corn-and-soybean country have pushed prices for those crops higher too.

July Chicago wheat rose 2 ½  to $5.39, July KC wheat gained 10 to $5.51, July soybean futures rose 11 ½ to $9.76, and July corn futures climbed 3 ¾  to $3.81.

Cotton futures reversed recent trends and closed higher on Wednesday with the October contract gaining 17 to 69.01, and December new crop gained 21 to 67.66.

Oil’s rally came to an abrupt halt Wednesday as worries about the persistent global oil glut came back into focus.

The selloff, which was the U.S. oil benchmark’s largest single-day drop in a month, came on the heels of an eight-day rally that pushed crude prices up nearly 11%.

August crude futures fell $1.94 to $45.13 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 3.24 cents to $1.50 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell 3.43 cents to $1.47 a gallon.

Natural gas prices tumbled to a four-month low Wednesday as unenthusiastic investors found little to excite them in the weather forecasts.

August Natural gas fell 11.1 cents to $2.84.

On Wall Street, the steep drop in oil prices dragged energy shares lower and kept the Dow and S&P 500 in check on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq was buoyed by gains in tech stocks.  The Dow fell 11 to 21,478, the Nasdaq closed at 6,150, up 40 and the S&P 500 gained 3 to 2,432.

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.