Livestock Futures End the Week with Gains

Cattle futures rose to a three-week high despite ongoing pressure in cash and meat markets. Many are betting that cash prices for slaughter-ready cattle are bottoming.

October Live cattle rose 110 to $107, December gained 172 to $112, and September feeders gained 232 to $147.

Hog futures, meanwhile, reversed course, also climbing after opening lower. Cash-market prices for hogs were expected lower on Friday after falling continually this week. Pork prices were also lower.

Analysts said traders were disappointed after the opening of new slaughterhouses this week failed to drive cash prices higher.

October lean hogs rose 70 to 62.15, December gained 62 to 58.90.

Grain and soybean futures were mixed Friday as traders positioned ahead of a government supply-and-demand report next week. Traders were focused on whether USDA would lower its previous U.S. crop estimates on Tuesday. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the agency to trim its corn production estimate to 14 billion bushels, from 14.15 billion in August, while reducing its soybean haul forecast to 4.32 billion bushels from 4.38 billion.

Pre-report jostling dominated Friday’s trade. A weaker dollar, meanwhile, supported grain-and-soybean markets overnight.

December corn rose 2 ½  to $3.56, November soybeans fell 6 ¾  to $9.62, December Chicago wheat climbed ¼ to $4.37, and December KC wheat dropped ¼ as well to $4.41.

Cotton futures ended the week with a gain, as damage assessments from Hurricane Harvey are ongoing, and potential damage from Hurricane Irma.  October cotton gained 56 to 75.59, and December new crop gained 77 to 75.04.

Crude oil futures fell as oil begins to flow back into refineries in the Texas Gulf region.  October crude dropped $1.50 to $47.59 a barrel, gasoline futures dropped 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon, and diesel futures dropped 2 cents to $1.77 a gallon.

Natural gas futures fell Friday on expectations that Hurricane Irma will lead to outages and cooler temperatures, weighing on demand.

October nat gas fell 9.1 cents to $2.89.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Friday as investors braced for potential damage from Hurricane Irma as it moved toward Florida, while a decline in big tech names like Apple and Facebook pushed the Nasdaq down more sharply.  The Dow gained 13 to end the week at 21,797, the Nasdaq closed at 6,360, down 37 and the S&P 500 fell 3 to 2,461.

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.