Hog Futures Take a Breather from Bull Market

Hog futures prices dropped Tuesday, easing after recent gains.

Hog contracts rose almost a fifth over the first half of October as meatpackers paid more for slaughter-ready hogs in the cash market, and wholesale pork prices trended higher. Lean hog futures for December fell 152 to 62.18, and the February contract dropped 115 to 67.15.

Cattle futures also settled lower, after failing to sustain gains earlier in the session as rising cash and beef prices encouraged some buying in that market. Feeder cattle futures were mostly lower. October live cattle futures fell 55 to $111, the December contract dropped 85 to $115, and October feeders dropped 185 to $152.

Grain and soybean futures fell Tuesday as the U.S. harvest gathered pace.

Mostly clear skies across the Midwest and Plains states this week should allow farmers to make rapid progress harvesting corn and soybeans, allowing them to catch up with recent years after rain delays earlier this season. Analysts say that will speed the flow of crops into the market and increase supplies, weighing down prices. Soybean futures led losses through much of Tuesday’s session. Corn futures were mixed before closing lower.

November soybeans fell 6 ¼ to $9.84, December corn fell ½  to $3.50, December Chicago wheat fell 1 ¾  to $4.34, and December KC wheat dropped ½ to $4.33.

Cotton futures regained some of Monday’s losses with the December contract gaining 24 to 67.77, and March gaining 16 to 67.48.

Oil futures swung between small gains and losses Tuesday as investors reacted to some of the geopolitical concerns that have recently supported prices possibly easing. November crude closed up 1 cent at $51.88 a barrel, Gasoline futures closed up 1.32 cents at $1.63 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell a fraction to $1.80 a gallon.

Natural gas prices retraced some of Monday’s losses following forecasts of cooler temperatures toward the end of the month.  November nat gas closed up 1.6 cents at $2.96.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly ticked above the 23,000 point mark for the first time on Tuesday, driven by strong earnings from UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson, though it finished the session just below that level.  The Dow gained 40 to close at 22,997, the Nasdaq closed virtually unchanged at 6,623, and the S&P 500 gained 1 to 2,559.

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.