U.S. lean-hog futures were hammered by en-masse selling on Wednesday as traders and investment funds continue to dodge a coming wave of heavy supplies. October hog contracts tumbled 262 to 73.17, the December contract lost 222 to 70.82.
Live-cattle futures mostly escaped the hog complex's pain, finishing mixed. August live cattle closed up 27 at $119, the October contract fell 15 to $124 and other contracts were lower as well.
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 465 cattle and 37 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady to 4.50 lower; bulls were mixed, 3.50 lower to 50 cents higher.
U.S. corn and soybean futures fell Wednesday, pressured by profit-taking and by improved reports from the Pro Farmer crop tour, as scouts on the tour surveyed areas with better crop conditions Tuesday and Wednesday than they had Monday.
September corn fell 1 to $8.30, September soybeans fell 5 1/2 to $17.48, September wheat in Chicago dropped 4 to $8.96, and Kansas City Board of Trade September wheat fell 3 to $9.05.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended steady to 4 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $8.24-$9.05 at feed mills and $8.19-$8.78 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans 5 to 6 cents lower and were $17.87 at processors, and $16.82-$17.98 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 4 cents lower and ranged $8.00-$8.32. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $595.70 per ton for 48% protein.
While cotton futures fell on early profit-taking, the market recovered some by day's end amid some dip-buying. It was an inside trading session, highlighting a stoic market. December cotton fell 33 to 76.97, and near month October dropped 38 to 76.07.
Gold prices touched a three-month high after the Federal Reserve sent another strong signal that it is moving closer to launching a new round of easing measures. Gold prices shot up $14.60 to $1,655.10 an ounce, and September gold gained 3 cents to $29.45.
Crude oil futures ended higher after meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy-making arm indicated further monetary easing could be deemed necessary "fairly soon." October crude rose 42 cents to $97.26 a barrel, September gasoline rose 3.9 cents to $3.10 a gallon, and September rose a fraction to $3.12 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures closed solidly higher Wednesday as traders looked with anticipation at the potential for a tropical storm to seriously disrupt energy production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for the first time this season. September Natural gas gained 5.1 cents to $2.82
On Wall Street, stocks trimmed most losses, Treasury yields fell and the dollar tumbled broadly after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting suggested the US central bank was ready to ease monetary policy soon. The Dow fell 30 to 13,172, the Nasdaq closed at 3,073, up 6 and the S&P 500 gained a fraction to 1,413.