News that another animal health company will offer a vaccine for a deadly swine virus that has killed millions of pigs sent U.S. hog futures lower in most contracts Wednesday.
Traders seized on expectations for producers to have an easier time managing porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, which has roiled the industry since first entering the U.S. last year and which veterinarians say spreads more rapidly in cooler temperatures. December lean-hog futures bounced off the session lows to decline 30 to 93.10 . Other contracts fell further.
Cattle futures, meanwhile, surged midday on ideas that processors could pay higher prices for cattle in the cash markets amid tight available supplies. Beef packers last week paid as much as $1.58 a pound live for cattle, up over two cents from the front-month contract, with owners seeking higher prices this week.
October live-cattle rallied by the exchange-imposed daily limit of 300 to $152, Cattle for December rose 247 , to $158 . Feeder-cattle futures for October gained .95 cents to $221
Corn and soybean futures closed sharply lower Wednesday–with corn sinking to the lowest level in more than four years–after government and private-sector reports reinforced expectations for massive harvests ahead. Wheat fell partly due to continued strength in the U.S. dollar, which traders see making domestic wheat less competitive on the world market
September corn dropped 14 1/2 to $3.41, September soybeans fell 16 1/2 to $10.80, December Chicago wheat dropped 19 1/4 to $5.35, and December KC wheat fell 15 ¾ to $6.16.
Cotton futures gained on Tuesday, in spite of USDA’s crop progress report showing 50% of the crop is rated good to excellent, as of Sunday. October cotton gained 36 to 66.70, and December new crop gained 61 to 65.92.
Gold prices inched ahead on Wednesday, bouncing off their lowest levels in months. December gold gained $5.30 to $1.270.30, and December silver closed at $19.18, up 3.7 cents.
Oil prices rallied Wednesday, almost completely erasing Tuesday’s losses, on expectations that steps toward a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine could boost economic growth in Europe.
October crude rose $2.66 to $95.54 a barrel, October gasoline gained 7.7 cents to $2.62 a gallon. October diesel rose 6.91 cents to $2.86 a gallon.
Natural-gas prices closed lower for the second straight session as cool weather forecasts keep setting low expectations for demand starting next week. October nat gas fell 4.3 cents to $3.84.
On Wall Street, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended lower on Wednesday, dragged down by a drop in shares of Apple , while the Dow finished with a slight gain. The Dow gained 10 to close at 17,078, the Nasdaq closed at 4,572, down 25, and the S&P 500 fell 1 ½ to 2,000.