Grain & Oilseed Futures Rise Ahead of Friday Reports

Cattle futures ended narrowly lower Thursday, pressured by profit-taking, as investors remain cautious about the strength of retail demand for beef.

October cattle futures dropped 2 to $142, December Live-cattle futures fell 37 to $144, and September Feeder-cattle gained 12 to $203.

Hog futures also settled mostly lower with the October hog contract falling 37 to 68.55, and December futures were unchanged at 63.55

Corn and soybean futures settled higher Thursday amid expectations that federal forecasters will cut estimates for the size of this year’s U.S. harvests in a key report later today. Hot, dry conditions in parts of the Midwest in August have raised expectations that the USDA will pare its projections for the corn and soybean harvests. Still, the crops are expected to be among the largest in history. Wheat prices also rose.

December Corn, the most actively traded contract, rose 5 1/4 to $3.74, November soybeans climbed 1 3/4 to $8.74, December Chicago wheat, the heaviest-traded contract, gained 6 1/4 to $4.78, and December KC wheat gained 5 to $4.77.

Cotton futures rose on Thursday ahead of today’s USDA reports.  The October contract gained 16 to 63.48, and December new crop gained 13 to 63.05.

Gold futures nudged higher on Thursday as a weaker dollar lent support to the market and some investors recalibrated their views on U.S. interest rates.  December gold rose $7.30 to $1,109.30, December silver closed at $14.64, up 6.9 cents.

Oil prices climbed Thursday after weekly data showed a drop in U.S. production, even as supplies of crude oil and refined products rose to a record high.

October crude gained $1.77 to $45.92 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose 3.39 cents to $1.39 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose 3.61 cents to $1.57 a gallon.

Natural gas futures crested near a two-week high after a weekly stockpile addition came in lower than expected.  October nat gas gained 3.2 cents to $2.68.

On Wall Street stocks ended higher on Thursday, supported by gains in Apple and biotech shares, but nervousness ahead of a much-anticipated Federal Reserve meeting next week limited the advance.  The Dow gained 76 to 16,330, the Nasdaq closed at 4,796, up 39 and the S&P 500 gained 10 to 1,952.

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.