Weather Concerns Continue to Drive Grain & Oilseed Futures

Hog futures inched higher on soaring pork belly prices on Friday, while cattle futures were mixed.

Fresh pork belly prices are at all-time highs, according to Dennis Smith, a broker at Archer Financial Services.

Cattle futures were mixed, closing lower after giving back gains during the session.

July lean hog rose 25 to 91.72, August gained 57 to 83.22.

August live cattle futures fell 17 to $114, the October contract dropped 5 to $113, and August feeders gained 40 to $145.

Soybean futures climbed to the highest point in over three months on Friday, as drier Midwestern weather exacerbated concerns about the crop. Weather worries are also supporting corn prices. Wheat futures sagged, however. Prices for spring wheat have soared recently as a result of the drought in the northern Plains.

August soybean futures climbed 15 ¼  to $10.01, September corn futures recovered from losses on Thursday to close 2 higher at $3.92, September Chicago wheat fell 4 to $5.35, and September KC wheat dropped 3 ½ to $5.43.

Cotton futures gained slightly Friday after a strong export report showing demand for U.S.-grown fiber.  October cotton gained 28 to 69.75, and December new crop gained 24 to 68.59.

Oil futures slid further Friday after a surge in the dollar, accelerating an already sharp downturn tied to re-emerging fears of oversupply.  Two of the last three sessions have brought some of oil’s worst daily losses in months.

August crude fell $1.29 to $44.23 a barrel, Gasoline futures lost 3.03 cents, to $1.49 a gallon, and Diesel futures lost 3.37 cents to $1.44 a gallon.

Natural gas futures fell back to near a one-year low Friday after government data showed a larger-than-expected storage addition for last week. September Natural gas fell 2.4 cents to $2.86.

Stocks on Wall Street stocks closed on a high note Friday, with the S&P 500 index posting its best gain in six sessions on the heels of a U.S. payrolls report that gave investors more confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.  The Dow gained 94 to 21,414, the Nasdaq closed at 6,153, up 63 and the S&P 500 gained 15 to 2,425.

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.