Lower Dollar Pushes Grain & Oilseed Futures Higher

Cattle futures jumped on Friday after beef packers paid sharply higher prices in the cash market.

With packer margins per animal well into triple digits, feedyards have raised asking prices for their cattle despite a tendency to slump at this time of year.

June Live cattle rose 340 to $130, the August contract gained 135 to $126, and August feeders gained 165 to $158.

Hog contracts were mixed as traders took profits on a recent rally, though momentum from the cattle market helped carry front-month June lean hog futures gained 30 to 81.22, the July contract fell 15 to 81.97.

Grain and soybean futures rose Friday as the dollar fell to fresh lows.

The weaker dollar, which took a hit after an underwhelming U.S. jobs report, threw U.S. agricultural exporters a lifeline at a time when they are facing tough competition from South American producers. Export sales released by USDA on Friday morning were mixed. Corn and soybean sales were largely within expectations, but canceled orders of this year’s wheat crop were accompanied by a larger-than-expected bump in wheat sales for the year to come.

July Soybeans rose 9 to $9.21, July Corn gained 2 ¼ to $3.72, July Chicago wheat closed ½ higher at $4.29, and July KC wheat gained 2 ½ to $4.33.

Cotton futures fell Friday as speculators continued to exit their bullish positions after cotton’s gyrations in mid-May.  July cotton dropped 94 to 76.69, October fell 45 to 75.24.

Oil prices resumed losses Friday to trade at four-week lows, after rising U.S. production and President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord helped reignite a recent selloff.

July crude lost 72 cents, to $47.64 a barrel, Gasoline futures lost 3 cents to $1.58 a gallon and diesel futures lost 2 cents to $1.48 a gallon.

Natural gas futures were on pace for their worst week in at least three months, pulling back sharply on a rally as fears of oversupply returned to the market.  July nat gas fell a fraction to $2.99.

On Wall Street, stocks advanced to record levels for a second straight session on Friday as a lukewarm jobs report was offset by gains in industrial and technology stocks.  The Dow gained 62 to 21,206, the Nasdaq closed at 6,305, up 59, and the S&P 500 gained 9 to 2,439.

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.