Cattle futures slid on Monday as hot weather limited appetite for beef and stressed herds. Prices across the cattle market have fallen recently on the back of a seasonal tendency to eat less beef in the summer heat, particularly after a bump in grilling demand for July 4. Hog futures were also lower. Summer heat aside, the slide in beef prices would help it better compete with pork in the near future as Americans revert to their typical meat of choice. One analyst said ‘we are a nation that runs on hamburgers.’
August Live cattle fell 95 to $113, the October contract dropped 40 to $113, and August feeders fell 35 to $144.
August lean hog futures fell 122 to 82, and the October contract dropped 102 to 69.95.
Corn futures popped to a year high on Monday as traders rushed to secure supply ahead of looming weather troubles.
Forecasters see some of the hot and dry conditions that have plagued the northern Plains spring wheat crop shifting into the Midwest, where they risk harming many of this year’s corn and soybean fields. Wheat futures, meanwhile, resumed a rally that halted last week on profit taking.
Dryness is already stressing crops in the western Midwest, according to MDA Weather Services, and will allow moisture to decline in the central and eastern Midwest over the next six to 10 days.
September Corn rose 9 ½ to $4.02, Soybean futures also climbed to fresh highs, with August contracts rising 23 ¾ to $10.24, September Chicago wheat climbed 15 to $5.50, and September KC wheat gained 14 ¼ to $5.57.
Cotton futures continued to slide on good crop conditions and ho hum demand. October cotton fell 203 to 67.72, and the December contract dropped 130 to 67.29.
Oil futures inched up Monday with talk of production curbs in Libya and Nigeria and a sign of shrinking U.S. stockpiles leading to a small rebound from a recent slide.
August crude settled up 17 cents at $44.40 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained a fraction to $1.50 a gallon, and Diesel futures also gained a fraction to $1.45 a gallon.
Natural gas futures posted some of their biggest gains in months on numbers showing falling production and warmer weather forecasts. August Natural gas gained 6.5 cents to $2.92.
On Wall Street, stocks ended mixed on Monday, led by gains in technology stocks as investors were optimistic ahead of earnings. The Dow fell 5 to 21,408, the Nasdaq closed at 6,176, up 23 and the S&P 500 gained 2 to 2,427.