Grains & Oilseeds Soar on Underwhelming Rain Events

Cattle futures started the week sharply lower as traders faced the prospect of an increase in supply over the coming weeks. Live cattle futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell on Monday, closing just short of their lower daily trading limit. August live cattle fell 270 to $112, October contracts dropped 297 to $111, and August Feeder cattle fell 370 to $146.

Hog futures, meanwhile, were mostly higher. Hog futures have risen in recent days as traders try to close a gap between the CME lean hog index and pork prices, which are higher. August lean hogs rose 17 to 83.40, while October futures rose 135 to 68.12.

Grain and soybean futures climbed after underwhelming rainfall over the weekend, renewing jitters about the condition of U.S. crops.

Rainfall was smaller than expected in key states like Iowa, where forecasts for the next 10 days now show less rain ahead. The Commodity Weather Group expects 25% to 30% of corn and soybeans, mostly in Iowa, Illinois and the northern Plains, to be under notable moisture stress as a result. In particular, drought continues to sear crops in the Dakotas.

September Soybean rose 10 ½ to $9.64, while September corn climbed 5 ¾  to $3.72, September Chicago wheat rose 8 ¾  to $4.63, and September KC wheat gained 7 ¼ to $4.66.

Cotton futures mostly ended higher to start the week with the October contract gaining 23 to 71.22, and December new crop, fell 7 to 70.55, the only contract to close lower.

Oil futures edged lower on Monday, as investors debated whether positive signs for supply and demand will be enough to keep a month long rally going.

September crude settled down 19 cents to $49.39 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 2 cents to $1.63 a gallon, and diesel futures lost 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon.

Natural gas inched higher Monday, recovering slightly after cooler-than-expected temperatures led prices to a five-month low.  September nat gas rose 2.7 cents to $2.80.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up on Monday to its ninth straight record closing high, while the S&P 500 ended up slightly with consumer and technology sector gains more than offsetting losses in energy.  The Dow gained 25 to 22,118, the Nasdaq closed at 6,383, up 32, and the S&P 500 gained 4 to 2,480.

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.