Grain Trade Awaiting USDA Reports on Thursday

Cattle futures rose on Monday after an uptick in cash prices late last week. Higher cash prices helped the futures market start this week with a boost, analysts said, a sign that demand for beef and healthy margins would encourage packers to raise bids in order to secure supply of slaughter-ready cattle.

October live cattle futures rose 40 to $111, December closed unchanged at $116, and October feeders fell 17 to $153.

Hog futures were mixed. Underwhelming August pork exports pressured the market. Analysts said higher exports are needed to absorb increased production from a series of new slaughter houses.

October lean hog futures fell 15 to 59.02, December gained 2 to 60.95.

Grain and soybean futures fell ahead of a government crop report due later this week.

Traders are waiting for USDA to release on Thursday updated production estimates for the ongoing U.S. corn and soybean harvest. Though rain in the Midwest has slowed the pace of fieldwork, early results so far show better than expected corn and soybean yields. That’s giving traders little incentive to bet that prices will rise ahead of the report, particularly given some improvement in weather forecasts and recent pressure on exports from a steady to higher dollar. Wheat futures led losses on Monday.

December corn futures fell ½  to $3.49, November soybeans slid 5 ½  to $9.66, December Chicago wheat fell 7 ½  to $4.36, and December KC wheat fell 6 to $4.30

Cotton futures started the week on a high note with the October contract gaining 5 to 69.09, and December new crop gaining 11 to 68.98.

Oil futures rose Monday as Saudi Arabia announced it would further curtail oil exports, but U.S. crude futures remained below $50 a barrel as investors awaited fresh data this week.

November crude futures rose 29 cents to $49.58 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose 0.06 cent to $1.55 a gallon, and  Diesel futures fell a fraction to $1.73 a gallon.

Natural-gas prices edged lower to a two-month low Monday amid forecasts calling for persistently mild weather stretching almost through the end of the month.

November Natural gas for delivery recently fell 300, to $2.83.

Stocks on Wall Street fell from record levels on Monday as gains in Microsoft and other technology stocks failed to offset a drop in General Electric and a slide in healthcare stocks.  The Dow fell 12 to 22,761, the Nasdaq closed at 12,293 down 10 and the S&P 500 fell almost 5 to 2,544.

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.