Hog Futures Continue to Rise

Hog futures rose to an eight-week high as meatpackers continued to drive up cash prices for slaughter-ready pigs.

Two slaughter houses that opened in Iowa and Michigan in September have added to national processing capacity, forcing packers to pay more in order to secure supply for their plants. Lean hog futures for December rose 50 to 64.25, February gained 47 to 68.47.

Cattle futures were mixed. October live cattle futures fell 27 to $111, The most-active December contract was also lower, closing at $116, down 50, while later months rose. October feeders gained 62 to $153.

Grain and soybean futures rose on Thursday, buoyed by global demand for U.S. crops. A lower dollar helped prices on Thursday.

Prices for crops did little more than tread water, however, staying within well defined trading ranges. December corn futures rose ½ to $3.49, while December Chicago wheat gained 2 ¾ to $4.32, December KC wheat gained 1 ¼ to $4.29, and November soybean futures rose 2 ¼  to $9.86

Cotton futures gave back Wednesday’s gains with the December contract dropping 32 to 67.31, and March falling 32 as well to 67.01.

Oil prices pulled back on Thursday, as geopolitical concerns eased and some investors cashed in on the week’s price rise.

November crude fell 75 cents to $51.29 a barrel, November gasoline futures closed unchanged at $1.64 a gallon and diesel futures declined 3 cents to $1.78 a gallon.

Natural gas prices settled higher on Thursday, reversing losses as investors weighed a steadily declining surplus against warm weather concerns.

November nat gas rose 1.9 cents to $2.87.

On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 eked out record closing highs on Thursday, turning higher at the last minute after a Politico report that Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell is the leading candidate for the nominee for Fed chair.  The Dow gained 5 to 23,163, the Nasdaq closed at 6,605, down 19 and the S&P 500 closed virtually unchanged at 2,562.

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.