Grain & Oilseed Futures Soar Into the End of the Month

Livestock futures were mixed as traders searched for seasonal lows.

Lean hog futures for October rose before giving back most gains to close 5 higher at 61.4, December gained 82 to 58.02.  Later-month contracts were also higher. Cattle futures, meanwhile, fell.  October live cattle dropped 72 to $105, and December fell 25 to $109, and September feeders fell 117 to $142.

Both markets have been rattled by concerns about oversupply in recent weeks, pushing prices for wholesale red meat and slaughter-ready livestock down since peaking earlier this summer. Some analysts say markets now have room for a bounce. Cattle futures, meanwhile, were under pressure as the week’s cash trade trended lower.

Corn futures jumped, climbing almost 4% to erase losses from the week so far.

The market gained momentum as traders got out of short positions, analysts said, limiting their exposure ahead of the long weekend. September-dated corn contracts entered into their first notice day for physical grain delivery on Thursday. Soybean and most wheat futures were also higher, as broader strength in commodities lifted agricultural markets.

September corn rose 12 ¾  to $3.42, September soybeans rose 13 ¼  to $9.36, September Chicago wheat climbed 6 ¾  to $4.10, and September KC wheat gained 8 ½ to $4.08.

Cotton futures closed steady to slightly higher on Thursday with assessments of the hurricane damaged south Texas crop ongoing.  October cotton gained 1 to 71.48, and December new crop gained 8 to 70.93.

Gasoline futures soared Thursday after the largest fuel conduit in the U.S. reported that shipments are being sharply curtailed in the wake of Harvey, and ahead of the expiration of the September contract. Oil prices followed suit, though less dramatically.

September Gasoline surged 24.88 cents to $2.13 a gallon, crude futures rose $1.10 a barrel to $47.09.

Natural gas prices jumped after government data showed that the glut of gas in storage is nearly gone, rising to their highest level in over a month and capping their best month since March.

October Natural gas rose 10.1 cents to $3.04.

On Wall Street, stocks rose on Thursday after data showed domestic inflation increased at its slowest pace since late 2015, boosting expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold off from increasing interest rates again this year.  The Dow gained 55 to 21,948, the Nasdaq closed at 6,428, up 60 and the S&P 500 gained 14 to 2,471.

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.