Hog Futures Fall to Lowest Close All Year

Cattle futures rose Tuesday after wholesale beef prices bounced for the first time in over two weeks. Hog futures fell to a new low Tuesday, closing at the lowest point this year. The cash market for hogs has pressured futures, falling continually for almost three weeks. But analysts say steadying pork prices may help buttress the trade.

April live cattle rose 215 to $123,  the June contract gained 140 to $113, and April feeders gained 187 to $137.

April lean hog contracts fell 67 to 62.65, and the My contract gained 22 to 69.57.

Grain and soybean futures were mixed.  Analysts expected the USDA to increase modestly its estimates for South American corn and soybean harvests, both of which have complicated the outlook for the US crops by lowering prices and stoking concerns of growing surpluses.

May Chicago wheat gained 4 ½ to $4.33, May KC wheat gained 4 ¼ to $4.29, May corn fell ½ to $3.66, and May soybeans fell 2 ½ to $9.39.

Cotton futures pared losses following a government update on world agriculture supply and demand for the fiber. Cotton for May delivery lost 14 to end at 75.01, the July contract fell 38 to 76.43.

Oil futures flipped to small gains Tuesday and extended a lengthy rally after news raised expectations the world’s biggest crude exporters will extend an agreement to cut output. May crude settled up 32 cents at $53.40 a barrel, Gasoline futures lost a fraction to $1.75 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose a fraction to $1.65 a gallon.

Natural gas posted its biggest losses for any session in four weeks as technical signs have some traders cautious about whether the market’s biggest monthly rally since last spring has hit a wall. May Natural gas fell 8.8 cents to $3.15.

On Wall Street, stocks ended down but well off the day’s lows on Tuesday, with worries over geopolitical risks dragging down sentiment as investors readied for the start of U.S. earnings.  The Dow fell 6 to 20,651, the Nasdaq closed at 5,866, down 14, and the S&P 500 dropped 3 to 2,353.

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.