Livestock Futures Drift Lower

Cattle futures drifted lower at the start of the week as traders consolidated after recent gains.

The cattle market last week “found good demand on ideas that the cattle market has finally reached a delayed seasonal low,” said Chicago-based research firm AgResource in a note to clients. Futures were under pressure on Monday, though, as wholesale beef prices fell at midday. Hog futures, meanwhile, fell on Monday.

October live cattle closed down 12 at $107, December gained 2 to $112, and September feeder cattle gained 57 to $148.

October lean hog contracts dropped 57 to 61.57, and December fell 27 to 58.62.

Grain and soybean futures were mixed as traders prepared for updated government harvest forecasts.

A stronger dollar, rebounding from a 2 1/2-year low last week, also put pressure on the market.  Traders, however, were mostly focused on positioning for USDA’s monthly supply-and-demand report on today at midday, which will include estimates for this season’s U.S. harvest.

December corn rose 1 ¼  to $3.57, November soybeans fell 1 ¾  to $9.60, December Chicago wheat dropped 1 ½  to $4.34, and December KC wheat dropped 6 ¼ to $4.09.

Cotton futures fell Monday with the October contract dropping 188 to 73.71, and December new crop falling 248 to 72.11.

Oil prices settled higher on Monday, as refineries planned restarts and Saudi Arabia debated the possibility of extending a deal to curb output among major producers. October crude gained 59 cents to $48.07, October gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.64, diesel futures slid 2 cents to $1.74 a gallon.

Natural gas futures rose Monday on forecasts for warmer-than-average temperatures over the next few weeks.  October nat gas gained 6 cents to $2.95.

Three major U.S. indexes on Wall Street rose more than 1 percent on Monday as Irma’s downgrade to a tropical storm eased concerns about its impact on economic growth, and as North Korea refrained from any missile tests over the weekend, as feared.  The Dow gained 259 to 22,057, the Nasdaq closed at 6,432, up 72, and the S&P 500 gained 26 to 2,488.

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.