Cattle futures were mixed on Thursday after a downturn in physical cattle prices continued to weigh on the market. The lower trend pressured the futures market. Recent government reports showed large numbers of cattle being fattened in feedlots, and analysts expect cash prices to run into further difficulty in the months to come as those cattle reach their requisite slaughter size.
December live cattle fell 45 to $122, February fell 5 to $128, later months rose. November feeder cattle, however gained 115 to $158.
Hog futures were also mixed. The December lean hogs fell 37 to 63.17, February gained 47 to 70.22, and other later months rose.
The December contract has fallen consecutively for over a week. Lower cash prices for hogs have cranked up pressure on the hog market.
Corn and soybean futures swing to red after the USDA estimates both crops will be larger than analysts had anticipated. Although market watchers had expected the government to boost its estimate for the US corn crop, its projection for 14.578B bushels of the grain this year catches the market off guard. The USDA’s forecast for 4.425B bushels of soybeans also is higher than analyst expectations, though it’s slightly lower than the government’s previous figure.
December corn fell 6 3/4 to $3.41, November soybeans dropped 12 ¾ to $9.75, December Chicago wheat gained 2 ¼ to $4.29, and December KC wheat gained 1 ½ to $4.29.
Cotton futures saw little reaction to Thursday’s report with the December contract falling 13 to 68.50, and March dropping 32 to 68.54.
Oil futures hovered near two-year highs on Thursday, bolstered by geopolitical risks in the Middle East.
December crude climbed 36 cents to $57.17 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 1 cent to $1.83 a gallon and diesel futures rose 3 cents to $1.95 a gallon.
Natural gas futures rose for the sixth session in a row Thursday, boosted by cold weather forecasts and a below-average addition to stockpiles last week.
December nat gas rose 2.5 cents to $3.20.
Stocks on Wall Street ended lower on Thursday, weighed down by losses in Apple Inc and other technology stocks as investors turned their attention to a U.S. Senate Republican plan that would delay corporate tax cuts that investors want very much. The Dow fell 101 to 23,461, the Nasdaq closed at 6,750, down 39 and the S&P 500 fell 9 to 2,584.