Weather Woes Push Corn & Soybeans Higher

Livestock futures bounced higher, buoyed by rising cash and meat prices.

Hog futures have risen every day this week on expectations the market has hit a seasonal low. Increasing slaughter numbers, larger herd sizes and rising pork weights contributed to a slump in the hog market through much of the summer.

Cattle futures rose too. Supply is also growing in that market, with slaughter, beef production and showlists of physical cattle all higher this week.

But expectations that cash prices would be steady attracted buyers to the futures market on Thursday.

October lean hog contracts climbed 60 to 60.92, and December gained 90 to 62.80.

October live cattle contracts rose 107 to $110, the December contract gained 112 to $116, and October feeders gained 147 to $153.

Soybean futures led gains in grain and oilseed markets, as harvest delays in the U.S. and tough weather in Brazil stoked buying interest.

Wet weather in the U.S., with rains spreading across the Midwest this week, is limiting fieldwork. That is slowing the flow of soybeans into the supply chain.  With traders increasingly concerned about an oversupply of soybeans, those disruptions gave prices a boost on Thursday even if they were likely to have limited effect on production. Corn futures also rose, buoyed by better-than-expected export sales.

November Soybeans rose 10 to $9.68, December Chicago wheat fell 1 ¼ to $4.40, December KC wheat dropped 1 ¾ to $4.32, and December corn futures rose 1 ¼  to $3.49.

Cotton futures ended lower Thursday with December dropping 53 to 68.27, and March falling 23 to 67.68.

Oil futures advanced Thursday, boosted by discussions between OPEC and Russia to continue a plan to curb production and support prices. Last month, U.S. oil futures entered a bull market on signs that OPEC cuts were finally having an impact on the global supply glut. In the Thursday meeting, the two leaders talked about extending Russia’s participation but came to no new agreements, The Wall Street Journal reported.

November crude rose 81 cents to $50.79 a barrel.  Prices for oil products also rallied Thursday, with gasoline futures rising 3 cents to $1.61 a gallon and diesel futures increasing 1 cent to $1.78 a gallon.

Natural gas prices closed lower on Thursday, reversing gains as mild weather forecasts outweighed data showing a smaller-than-expected build in stockpiles last week.

November nat gas fell 1.7 cents to $2.92.

On Wall Street, stocks rose to record highs again on Thursday, with optimism over a tax overhaul increasing as Congress moved closer to agreement on a budget resolution and as data added to recent signs of economic strength.  The Dow gained 113 to 22,775, the Nasdaq closed at 6,585, up 50 and the S&P 500 gained 14 to 2,552.

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.