Grains & Oilseeds Step Back

Meat production was disrupted Thursday by a nationwide labor protest against immigration policies though the supply disruption didn’t prevent a dip in livestock futures, with lean hogs shedding 1.3%. There were no reports of plant closures, though some meatpackers said production lines had been slowed.

April lean hogs fell 95 to 69.82, the May contract fell 82 to 74.70.

Cattle futures also lost ground after an early advance, with the April contract off 10 at $110 in the wake of the weak cash prices at Wednesday’s live auction.  June live cattle fell 15 to $104, and March feeders fell 45 to $123.

Grain and soybean futures fell Thursday as buying tapered off ahead of a holiday weekend.

Soybeans led the declines, dropping from a nearly one-month high as a round of buying by commodity funds petered out and some Brazilian farmers marketed crops to take advantage of favorable currency swings. Corn and wheat prices pulled back from fresh more than seven-month highs notched on Wednesday as buying slowed ahead of the coming three-day weekend.

March Soybeans fell 17 1/2 to $10.43, March corn declined 5 1/4 to $3.73, March Chicago wheat dropped 7 to $4.47, and March KC wheat fell 11 ¼ to $4.58.

Cotton futures fell for the fourth time this week with the March contract dropping 70 to 75.01, and the May contract dropping 51 to 76.77.

Crude oil futures edged higher Thursday as growing U.S. inventories were offset by reports that OPEC was prepared to consider extending supply cuts.

March crude gained 25 cents to $53.36 a barrel, Gasoline futures lost 3 cents to $1.52 a gallon, and Diesel futures closed unchanged at $1.63 a gallon.

Natural gas fell to new lows after storage levels failed to shrink as quickly as analysts expected, a bearish signal that the market may be oversupplied in the months to come. March Natural gas fell 7.1 cents to $2.85.

It was a mixed day on Wall Street as investors digested recent gains, and signs of an improving economy and promises by President Donald Trump to cut corporate taxes and reduce financial regulations have been behind much of the recent gains.  The Dow gained 7 to 20,619, the Nasdaq closed at 5,814, down 4 and the S&P 500 fell 2 to 2,347.

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.