Cattle futures closed at their highest level in more than a year, as strong demand pushes up the cost of beef. Meatpackers have charged more for wholesale beef in recent weeks, as tight supplies of slaughter-ready cattle in some states forced them to pay feedyards high cash prices.
April Live cattle rose 100 to $119, the June contract gained 125 to $111, and March feeders gained 52 to $132.
Lean hog futures haven’t climbed in tandem. With pork relatively cheap, traders haven’t felt the same urge to build up futures prices.
April lean hogs fell 65 to 68.00, and the May contract dropped 82 to 72.80.
Wheat futures fell Tuesday to the lowest close since early this year on concerns a strong crop will depress prices.
Forecasts for rain in parts of the Midwest and Great Plains sent traders backtracking on Tuesday from bets that unusually dry weather would disrupt the harvest and ease stockpiles that are at multiyear highs. Corn and soybeans futures have not fared much better in March, pressured by ever-growing forecasts for this year’s harvests in Brazil.
May Chicago wheat fell 3 ¾ to $4.26, May KC wheat plunged 7 to $4.38, May corn fell 2 ¼ to $3.61, and May soybeans rose 2 to $10.01.
Cotton futures continued to soften on Tuesday with the May contract dropping 49 to 76.84, and July falling 45 to 78.09.
Crude futures fell to a four-month low Tuesday, with stubbornly large global inventories and accelerating production in the U.S. reigniting a selloff.
April crude fell 88 cents to $47.34 a barrel, Gasoline futures fell a fraction to $1.60 a gallon, and Diesel futures fell 1.08 cents to $1.50 a gallon.
Natural gas futures inched up to a one-month high with traders anticipating a bullish update on U.S. stockpiles coming later this week.
A recent burst of cold caused a surge of demand for the heating fuel at a time when many expected the end of winter would cause demand to wane. April Natural gas gained 5.2 cents to $3.09.
Stocks on Wall Street fell sharply on Tuesday as investors worried that President Donald Trump will struggle to deliver promised tax cuts that propelled the market to record highs in recent months, with nervousness deepening ahead of a key healthcare vote. The Dow fell 237 to 20,668, the Nasdaq closed at 5,793, down 107 and the S&P 500 dropped 29 to 2,344.