Livestock Futures Slip on Oversupply Worries

Cattle futures tumbled after meatpackers paid less than expected for slaughter-ready herds. Sharp gains in the cash market for physical cattle last week had prompted a futures rally, and traders were expecting cash prices to continue rising this time around. December live cattle fell 170 to $122, February dropped 180 to $128, and November feeders fell 255 to $157.

The hog market is losing ground as traders fret over a buildup in supply. Meatpackers didn’t slaughter as many hogs as expected last week, despite expanded processing capacity after two new packing houses opened in September. Cash hog prices have fallen consistently in November, and were expected to continue trending lower on Wednesday. December lean hogs slid 37 to 63.55, February dropped 112 to 69.75.

Grain and soybean futures were mixed Wednesday as traders positioned ahead of a new round of harvest projections. Corn futures traded lower much of Wednesday’s session before turning higher, despite expectations this year’s harvest would produce more grain than initially thought. Soybean futures were also higher, while wheat futures fell.

December corn rose ½ to $3.48, November soybeans climbed 2 to $9.88, December Chicago wheat slid ½  to $4.26, and December KC wheat gained 1 to $4.27.

Cotton futures finished Wednesday’s trading session in positive territory with the December contract gaining 56 to 68.63, and March gaining 40 to 68.86.

Oil futures fell after government data showed that crude supplies in the U.S. unexpectedly grew last week as exports declined and production increased. December crude futures fell 39 cents to $56.81 a barrel, Gasoline futures rose a fraction to $1.82 a gallon, and Diesel futures also rose a fraction to $1.92 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures continued to tick higher Wednesday, rising for a fifth straight day as cold weather has made investors more optimistic about demand.

December nat gas gained 2.3 cents to $3.17.

Stocks on Wall Street closed at a record high on Wednesday as videogame makers rallied and Apple’s market value climbed above $900 billion.  The Dow gained 6 to 23,563, the Nasdaq closed at 6,789, up 21 and the S&P 500 gained 3 to 2,594.

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.