Hog Futures Continue Rally

Hog futures rallied again Tuesday on the back of higher cash prices that outweighed a potential hit to demand from bad weather on the East Coast.

The April lean hogs contract took on front-month responsibilities.  April hogs gained 160 to 71.30, February contract expired at 75.17

Cattle traded on both sides of unchanged, shrugging off an early fall on signs of subdued packer needs and show lists ahead of today’s live auction, with only 4,822 head lined up compared with 6,220 last week.

April live cattle ended up 147 at $114, the June contract gained 117 to close at $104, and March feeders gained 217 to finish at $124.

Grain and soybean futures fell Tuesday, pressured by profit-taking and improving prospects for rival South American crops.

Soybean prices led the declines, falling for a second consecutive session as traders turned their attention to Brazil and Argentina, where the prospect of strong harvests is prompting worry over tough competition for U.S. exports.  corn and wheat backed off seven-month highs notched in the previous session, as traders booked profits following a recent rally.

March Soybeans dropped 9 1/4 to $10.45, March corn declined 1 1/4 to $3.74, March Chicago wheat shed 2 3/4 to $4.49, and March KC wheat fell 1 ½ to $4.65.

Cotton futures slipped on Tuesday with the March contract dropping 29 to 76.32, and May falling 26 to 77.95.

Oil futures rose Tuesday on the back of data indicating that OPEC’s deal to cut production is holding.

March crude futures settled up 27 cents to $53.20 a barrel, Gasoline futures a fraction to $1.54 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose 1.09 cents to $1.63 a gallon.

Natural gas futures fell Tuesday, continuing their slide from a 12-week low hit Monday, as the weather outlook continued to favor warmer temperatures. March nat gas dropped 3.9 cents to $2.90.

On Wall Street, Investors dumped bonds and scooped up stocks on fresh optimism about the U.S. economy Tuesday. The moves came after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled Tuesday the central bank could consider raising short-term interest rates at its next policy meeting in March, citing recent job gains and rising inflation.  The Dow gained 92 to 20,504, the Nasdaq closed at 5,782, up 18 and the S&P 500 gained 9 to 2,337.

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.