Hog Futures Plunge

Hog futures fell over 3% to the lowest point this year as pork belly prices continued to drag down the market.

Pork bellies have fallen sharply after soaring to record-high prices earlier this summer on the back of booming demand for bacon. Lower belly prices have rumbled the hog market, which continues to face burdensome supplies of livestock.

October lean hogs fell 212 to 59.45, and December dropped 152 to 57.10.

Cattle futures also fell on the back of weaker beef prices. October live cattle fell 92 to $106, December dropped 132 to $111, and September feeders fell 47 to $147.

Another year of bumper crops in the American heartland means grain supplies in the US and abroad will remain elevated, the USDA says. The government delivered a double-whammy to farmers in its monthly supply-and-demand report, forecasting larger than expected corn and soybean harvests this year, as well as bigger-than-anticipated crop supplies for the current season.  September corn fell 5 ½ to $3.40, September soybeans dropped 10 ½ to $9.44, September Chicago wheat gained 7 ¼ to $4.19, and September KC wheat gained 6 ¾ to $4.16.

December Cotton futures fell after USDA published its latest monthly estimates of cotton production, consumption and stocks. In the report, U.S. cotton production was raised 1.2 million bales to 21.76 million bales, compared with an average estimate of 20.59 million bales, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of analysts. October cotton closed limit down at  70.71, December new crop also closed limit down at 69.11.

Crude futures turned higher after OPEC said its oil output fell in August and as U.S. refiners continued to ramp up following Hurricane Harvey.

October crude futures rose 16 cents to $48.23 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose 2.18 cents to $1.65 a gallon, breaking a six-session losing streak, Diesel closed unchanged at $1.74 a gallon, and October natural gas gained 5 cents to $3.00.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 hit a record closing high for the second day in a row on Tuesday, with financial stocks leading the charge, but gains were stunted by a decline in Apple Inc shares after it unveiled its latest iPhone.  The Dow gained 61 to 22,118, the Nasdaq closed at 6,454, up 22 and the S&P 500 gained 8 to 2,496.

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.