Grain & Oilseed Futures Take a Breather Before Today’s Reports

Cattle futures tumbled to the lowest close this year, falling through technical boundaries to extend a week of heavy losses.

Contracts for live cattle gave way after dropping past the bottom end of a recent trading range of around $112. In the subsequent selloff, they dropped to a fresh low for the year while some feeder cattle futures fell to their lower daily limit. Hog futures, meanwhile, rose on Wednesday despite sharply lower pork prices.

August live cattle fell 247 to $110, October dropped 255 to $108, and August feeder cattle closed limit down at $141.

August lean hogs gained 60 to 84.12, and October gained 50 to 68.25.

Grain and soybean futures were mixed in a quiet session ahead of a government supply-and-demand report.

Traders were mostly positioning for updated forecasts on this year’s harvest from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, due today at 12 p.m. EDT. Soybean prices were under pressure for some of Wednesday’s session, however, after the USDA said that private exporters reported cancellations of export sales of 130,000 metric tons of soybeans to unknown destinations. That pushed oilseed futures down from overnight gains. Updated weather forecasts, meanwhile, showed more rain across the Midwest and Plains next week, with dryness still expected to linger in parts of key crop-growing states like Iowa and Illinois this week.

Soybean futures for September closed down 1 at $9.66, September corn contracts rose 2 ½  to $3.72, September Chicago wheat climbed 2 ½  to $4.59, and September KC wheat gained 3 ¼ to $4.63.

Cotton futures closed virtually unchanged Wednesday in anticipation of today’s reports.  October cotton fell 9 to 71.82, and December dropped 2 to 71.11.

Oil futures gained on Wednesday after data showed the amount of oil in storage fell by more than analysts and traders had expected. September crude futures settled up 39 cents at $49.56 a barrel, Gasoline futures settled unchanged at $1.62 a gallon and diesel futures rose 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures rose on Wednesday, extending a three-day rally after hitting a five-month low last week. September nat gas gained 6.1 cents to $2.88

On Wall Street, stocks closed barely down on Wednesday as investors appeared to turn their focus away from North Korea-related geopolitical tension that weighed on equities for most of the session.  The Dow fell 36 to 22,048, the Nasdaq closed at 6,352, down 18 and the S&P 500 closed virtually unchanged at 2,474.

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.