Midwestern Rains Push Commodity Futures Lower

Cattle futures rose after cash-market prices turned higher this week.   With traders expecting a growing supply of market-ready cattle to depress prices, the uptick in the cash trade encouraged buying in the futures market on Thursday.

August Live cattle rose 70 to $115, the October contract gained 15 to $114, and August feeders gained 40 to $150.

Hog futures were mixed, however, trading mostly lower after a bounce on Wednesday.

August lean hog futures closed almost unchanged at 81.97, the October contract fell 72 to 65.50.

Soybean futures fell to the lowest point in over a month on Thursday, leading a day of selling across grain and oilseed markets.

Rain in the Midwest overnight added moisture to the soybean crop and pressured prices. Better growing weather for the oilseed in August, with plenty of rain and cool temperatures forecast, prompted a selloff this week. Futures for corn and wheat, which are already under pressure from a large global surplus of grain, followed soybean prices down.

August soybeans fell 16 to $9.50, September corn futures fell 1 ½  to $3.63, September Chicago wheat dropped 3 to $4.57, and September KC wheat fell 4 ¾ to $4.59.

Near month cotton futures fell on Thursday on a ho-hum export report, but all other months closed higher.  October cotton fell 20 to 71.55, and the December contract dropped 18 to 70.16.

Crude oil futures slipped after a morning of gains on an unexpected drawdown in stocks.  September crude fell 66 cents to $48.93 a barrel, September gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon, and September diesel fell 2 cents to $1.64 a gallon.

Natural gas futures reversed gains on Thursday, as a smaller-than-average build in stockpiles failed to reassure investors of strong demand in the coming months. September nat gas dropped1.1 cents to $2.80.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell on Thursday, weighed down by Amazon.com, Apple and other top-shelf technology stocks, while the Dow Jones edged up to a seventh straight record high.  The Dow gained 9 to 22,026, the Nasdaq closed at 6,340, down 22 and the S&P 500 fell 5 to 2,472.

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.