Hog Futures Rise on Robust Demand

Hog futures rose on Wednesday as strong demand for pork continued to fuel a rally in the market.

June lean hog futures touched a three-month high before easing off those peaks to close up 17 at 78.90. Some contracts for later-month delivery fell, however. Demand for the meat has helped fuel higher prices in the cash market for hogs, with packers raising bids to secure supply from dealers. But pork’s gain might be beef’s loss, with pork poised to become the retailer’s featured meat of choice as beef gets more expensive. July lean hogs fell 47 to 79.00, June live cattle gained 55 to $122, August gained 57 to $118, and May feeders gained 102 to $141.

Grain futures rose on Wednesday as wet forecasts renewed concerns about this year’s crops. Soybean futures, however, turned lower after two days of gains.

Corn and wheat futures oscillated in recent days as rainfall eased, soothing worries about planting delays and crop damage. But changing forecasts showed moisture building over much of the Midwest and Plains through the weekend and parts of next week. While controversy in Washington, D.C., roiled a number of markets, grain futures rose on a weaker dollar. The greenback is currently trading at its lowest point this year.

July Corn futures gained 3 ¾ to $3.71, July Chicago wheat futures rose 2 ¾  to $4.27, July KC wheat gained 2 to $4.26, and July soybeans closed at $9.75, down ½

Near-month cotton futures slipped on Wednesday, with the July cotton contract falling 115 to settle at 80.17, and October dropping 36 to 76.56.  All out months were higher

Crude oil futures rose Wednesday, after U.S. data showed that stockpiles of oil and fuel continued to drop and oil production fell for the first time since February.

June crude gained 36 cents to $49.02 a barrel, Gasoline futures closed unchanged at $1.60 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose 1.71 cents to $1.53 a gallon.

Natural gas prices continued their slide Wednesday as cool weather forecasts raised concerns about demand. June Natural gas settled down 3.8 cents at $3.19.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 on Wednesday suffered its biggest one-day fall since September as hopes for tax cuts and other pro-business policies faded after reports that President Donald Trump tried to interfere with a federal investigation.  The Dow fell 372 to 20,606, the Nasdaq closed at 6,011, own 158, and the S&P 500 dropped 43 to 2,357.

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.