Hog Futures Closed Higher on Higher Belly Prices

Lean hog futures climbed Friday, driven up a rebound in pork belly prices.

April lean hogs rose 145 to close at 68.02, snapping a three-day losing streak, the May contract gained 110 to 73.97.

Cattle future ended mixed with February live cattle gaining 67 to end at $123, but the April contract fell 157 to $114, and March feeders dropped 345 to $121. Friday’s USDA cattle-on-feed report came in largely in line with expectations.

Wheat and corn futures declined Friday in a quiet trading session, as traders remained pessimistic toward big grain supplies despite projections for smaller harvests this year. Soybean futures climbed.

March Chicago wheat futures fell even as USDA analysts forecast domestic wheat acreage to decline by about 8% this year and inventories to fall by about one-fifth by the end of the 2017-2018 crop season, the lowest level in three years.

The wheat market remained under pressure as large global supplies continue to challenge U.S. wheat’s competitiveness on international grain markets. Corn futures settled slightly lower in light trading Friday, as export sales slowed last week. Soybeans rebounded slightly after declining Thursday, after USDA projected record-high acreage to be planted with the oilseeds this year.

March Chicago wheat fell 6 3/4 to $4.31, March KC wheat dropped 4 to end the week at $4.53, March corn fell 1 ½  to $3.64, and March soybeans gained 2 to $10.13

Cotton futures rose slightly to end the week higher with the May contract gaining 47 to 76.57, and the July contract gaining 58 to 77.50.

Oil futures eased Friday as still bloated U.S. supplies continued to weigh on prices.

The selloff came just as it appeared crude prices were poised to break out of the narrow band they’ve traded in this year. Crude futures settled at their highest level since July 2015 on Thursday, but the rally lost some steam.

April crude futures fell 46 cents to $53.99 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 1.38 cents to $1.51 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell 1.63 cents to $1.64 a gallon.

Natural gas edged higher Friday amid a cooler weather forecast and light trading ahead of the March futures contract expiration.

March Natural gas rose 1 cent to $2.62.

Stocks on Wall Street edged higher on Friday, with the Dow extending its streak of record-setting gains to 11 days, as increases in utilities and other safety plays outweighed declines in financials.  The Dow gained 11 to close at 20,821, the Nasdaq closed at 5,845, up 9 and the S&P 500 gained 3 to 2,367.


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.

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