Hog Futures Take a Beating After a Week of Gains

Hog futures fell over 3%, undoing a rally earlier this week, while cattle futures rose.

Some of the momentum came as traders reversed bets that hog prices would rise and cattle would fall.  The hog market had started the shortened trading week with a surge as futures closed 3.7% higher, only to give back those gains in the following sessions.

October Lean hogs fell 210 to 61.45, December dropped 200 to 58.27.

October live cattle futures, meanwhile, rose 152 to $106. Unlike in the hog market, traders are betting that cash-market and meat prices are bottoming.  The cash cattle trade has been slow to get going this week, however. December gained 132 to $111, and September feeders gained 225 to $145.

Grain and soybean futures fell as traders booked profits on recent rallies.

Prices rose this week as traders focused on weather issues, with dry forecasts in the Midwest stressing late maturing soybeans and corn while Hurricane Irma threatened to hit the Carolinas in the coming days.

Some of those concerns eased Thursday, however, prompting traders to lock in profits from those rallies, Wheat prices led losses. Soybean futures, meanwhile, traded sideways.

December Chicago wheat fell 8 ½   to $4.37, December KC wheat fell 7 to $4.41, December corn dropped 5 ¾  to $3.55, November soybeans fell  2 ¼ $9.68.

Cotton futures traded sideways, awaiting news of damage caused by Irma in Georgia and the Carolinas.  October cotton fell 23 to 75.03, and December also fell 23 to 74.27.

Oil futures settled down slightly Thursday, paring earlier losses after U.S. data showed that oil stockpiles rose and gasoline stockpiles fell after Hurricane Harvey’s recent hit on the Gulf Coast, as analysts had anticipated. October crude futures fell 7 cents to $49.09 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 1.23 cents to $1.66 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose 2.66 cents to $1.78 a gallon.

Natural gas edged lower amid cooler weather forecasts after government data showed that stockpiles increased by roughly the amount analysts were expecting. October Natural gas fell 1.9 cents to $2.98.

Stocks on Wall Street ended little changed on Thursday after a moderate late-day rally as media stocks, which slumped on negative business updates from Walt Disney and Comcast, were offset by gains in healthcare shares.  The Dow fell 22 to 21,784, the Nasdaq closed at 6,397, up 4 and the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 2,465.

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.