Wheat Prices Hit Six-Year Low

Hog futures reversed early-session losses Wednesday, settling higher on the trading day. April hog futures advanced 1.525 cents to 71.475 cents a pound. Other contracts all rose.

U.S. cattle futures fell early Wednesday, pressured by profit-taking after prices climbed to the highest levels in 2 1/2 weeks on Tuesday. Hopes that the beef market is staging a recovery have carried cattle futures to the highest levels in weeks, as retail prices have slid to multiyear lows.

February live-cattle futures slid 0.45 cent, or 0.3%, to $1.3650 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after hitting the highest levels since early February on Tuesday. Cattle futures for April fell 0.175 cent to $1.35325 a pound. Feeder-cattle futures for March were up 0.775 cent to $1.5780 a pound.

Prices of U.S. grain and soybean futures fell on Wednesday, weighed down by abundant domestic and world supplies and concerns over export demand for U.S. crops.

Wheat futures led the declines, dropping to a nearly six-year low amid anticipation that federal forecasters could raise their estimate for U.S. wheat inventories in March, confirming a domestic grain glut. Wheat futures for March declined 5 1/4 cents, or 1.2%, to $4.42 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest closing price since June 2010.

Soybean prices declined to a two-week low, pressured by benevolent South American weather and the advancing soybean harvest in Brazil, which is a major U.S. rival for export of the oilseeds. CBOT March soybeans shed 1 3/4 cents, or 0.2%, to $8.67 1/2 a bushel, the lowest closing price since Feb. 10.

Corn prices slipped to a nearly two-week low as farmers boosted sales to take advantage of an rally earlier in the week and concerns over demand for the U.S. crop lingered. The USDA will release its acreage forecasts at an annual outlook forum on Thursday. CBOT March corn fell 2 1/4 cents, or 0.6%, to $3.59 3/4 a bushel, the lowest settlement price since Feb. 12.

Cotton prices continued to drop Wednesday on weak demand from China, once the world’s largest importer of cotton. Cotton for May delivery fell 1% to end at 57.41 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange.

Oil prices erased losses to settle higher Wednesday after U.S. inventory data showed that crude oil stockpiles rose to another record high last week but that supplies of refined products such as gasoline fell.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery settled up 28 cents, or 0.9% to $32.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, rose $1.14, or 3.4%, to $34.41 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Gasoline futures rose as the EIA data showed an unexpectedly large stockpile decline of 2.2 million barrels last week. Gasoline futures settled up 4.41 cents, or 4.6%, at $1.0104 a gallon.

Distillate supplies, including diesel fuel and heating oil, also fell more than expected. Diesel futures rose 3.73 cents, or 3.6%, to $1.0594 a gallon.

Gold prices rose Wednesday, as volatile stock markets and fears that Britain will leave the European Union sent investors into the safe haven metal.  April delivery closed up 1.3% at $1,239.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, recovering from earlier losses as oil prices turned higher.

The rebound was broad-based, with nearly every S&P 500 sector eking out a gain. Stocks sensitive to changes in commodity prices, including shares of materials and energy companies, rose the most.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.21 points, or 0.3%, to 16484.99. The blue-chip index declined as much as 266 points earlier.

The S&P 500 rose 8.53 points, or 0.4%, to 1929.80 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 39.02 points, or 0.9%, to 4542.61.


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.