Livestock Futures Continue Upswing

Cattle futures jumped after meatpackers boosted bids to buy cattle late last week. Hogs gained.

October live cattle futures closed Monday at their highest level in four months after beef processors surprised analysts with much stronger-than-expected prices paid to secure animals across U.S. Plains state markets.

Those bids, following days of haggling between meat companies and cattle ranchers, reflected beef processors’ need to keep meat supplies flowing in as consumer demand ramps up ahead of the U.S. holiday season

December live cattle, the most actively traded settled 257 higher at $123, and February gained 170 to $127.

Beef suppliers may also need to contend with rising supplies of pork, and lower prices for pork roasts and ham that could compete with beef cuts for shopper dollars.

Cash prices paid for hogs on Midwestern terminal farms softened Monday. That again raised questions among traders as to whether hog production has caught up with meat processors’ demand after two new slaughterhouses opened in Iowa and Michigan in recent months.

December lean hogs gained 72 to 65.17, February gained 80 to 71.05

Corn recovered from an early dip to end unchanged and break a three-session losing streak Monday ahead of a closely watched report on progress with the nation’s harvest.

Wheat remained under pressure and soybeans lost early gains as concerns over South American weather dimmed with the movement of rains toward northern Brazil as planting of the next crop there continues. The soybean complex had received early support from relatively buoyant export sales, but this evaporated by mid-session, in part because of worries about domestic protein yields that could impact overseas sales. December corn ended flat at $3.48, January soybeans, having been up more than three cents at one point, ended off 2½ cents at $9.72, December Chicago wheat lost 2½ to $4.24, and December KC wheat fell 3 ½ to $4.21.

Cotton futures saw Monday gains with the December contract gaining 44 to 68.64, and March jumping 47 to 68.58.

Oil edged up to the highest level in eight months on Monday, as optimism over the rebalancing of the global oil market continued to boost prices.

December crude rose 19 cents to $54.09 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell 1 cent to $1.76 a gallon and diesel futures rose 1 cent to $1.88 a gallon.

Natural-gas prices edged higher on Monday as weather forecasts showed the potential for cooler weather over the next two weeks.

December nat gas gained a fraction to $2.96

Wall Street pulled back from record-high territory on Monday, weighed down by a drop in Merck shares and a report that U.S. lawmakers are discussing a gradual phase-in of much-anticipated corporate tax cuts.  The Dow fell 85 to 23,348, the Nasdaq closed at 6,698, down 2 and the S&P 500 fell 8 to 2,572.

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.