Livestock Futures End Higher on Increased Demand

Cattle futures rose to the highest close since early August on strong demand for beef and technical support.

Meatpackers late last week paid higher prices for slaughter-ready cattle, sparking a rally in the futures market this week. That helped live cattle contracts find technical momentum and leapfrog their most recent highs.

October live cattle futures rose 227 to $113, the December contract gained 187 to $118, and October feeders gained 30 to $154.

Hog futures were higher too. Wholesale pork and cash swine prices are rising after appearing to bounce off a seasonal low in late September, analysts said. But analysts said supply pressure, as meatpackers slaughter a record number of hogs, could derail that recovery if demand doesn’t keep up.

October lean hog futures rose 115 to 60.17, December gained 60 to 61.55.

Grain and soybean futures gave back early gains to close slightly lower on Tuesday.

Traders were reluctant to take positions ahead of new government crop forecasts due Thursday, analysts said. Those estimates are expected to bolster further the view that the U.S. is on track for another large corn and soybean harvest.

Crop futures initially rose in Tuesday’s session. A rally in crude oil futures and other commodities helped attract buyers to the grain and oilseed markets, as well as a lower dollar. But prices retreated from those early gains.

December corn futures closed down ¼ at $3.49, November soybeans fell ¾  to $9.66, December Chicago wheat contracts slid ¾  to $4.35, and December KC wheat gained ½ to $4.31.

Cotton futures were little changed on Tuesday with the December contract closing unchanged at 68.95, and March falling 4 to 68.38.

Oil futures rose on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia’s plans to cut monthly exports in November renewed faith in the major oil producer’s efforts to drain global stocks.

November crude advanced $1.34 to $50.92 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose 3 cents to $1.59 a gallon, and diesel futures added 3 cents to $1.78 a gallon.

Natural-gas prices rose Tuesday as investors saw a three-session losing streak as overdone, with signs of lower production also helping sentiment.

November nat gas gained 5.8 cents to $2.89.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average hit a record closing high on Tuesday, helped by a surge in Wal-Mart Stores , while Amazon and Facebook lost ground and investors focused on upcoming quarterly reports.  The Dow gained 69 to 22,830, the Nasdaq closed at 6,587, up 7 and the S&P 500 gained 6 to 2,550.

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.