Cattle Futures Take a Hit on Rising Japanese Tariffs
Cattle futures slid after Japan said it was temporarily hiking tariffs on frozen beef imports from the U.S.
Japanese officials said on Friday they were raising duties on U.S. frozen beef exports to 50% from 38.5%.
Japan has become the largest international destination for U.S. beef, accounting for around a quarter of exports. With recent U.S. Department of Agriculture data forecasting growing U.S. cattle herds, analysts were concerned that disruption to beef exports could leave the domestic market oversupplied and depress prices.
August live cattle futures fell 140 to $112, October fell 115 to $112, and August feeder cattle were down 177 at $146.
Hog futures fell. Analysts said the selling momentum in the cattle market dragged them lower, though pork and cash prices were also in a downtrend.
August lean hog futures fell 85, to 81.40, the October contract dropped 117 to 66.50.
Grain and soybean futures mostly inched higher ahead of the weekend as traders refocused on weather problems.
Expectations earlier in the week that some of the dryness and heat that stressed crops so far this growing season were easing prompted selling. But prices did a U-turn after less rain fell than expected. Wheat futures initially led gains, buoyed by prospects of a smaller spring wheat harvest in the northern Plains. Grain and oilseed futures ultimately gave back some gains from earlier in Friday’s session, and still closed lower for the week. Soybean oil prices got a boost after a U.S. appeals court ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to reduce renewable fuel quotas.
September Chicago wheat rose 1 ¼ to $4.81, September KC wheat closed unchanged at $4.81, September corn futures were steady at $3.74, and August soybeans gained 6 to $10.00.
Cotton futures fell into the weekend with the October contract falling 28 to 70.22, and December dropping 9 to 68.80.
Oil futures rose every day this week, their best since December, as renewed optimism about falling supply and rising demand refuel a rally.
U.S. crude is bumping up against $50 for the first time in almost two months, retracing about half of the ground it lost during an unexpected selloff that started in March. September crude settled up 67 cents at $49.71 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 3.15 cents to $1.67 a gallon, and Diesel futures gained 3.65 cents to $1.63 a gallon.
Natural gas futures inched lower Friday afternoon with slightly cooler forecast and a lingering surplus in storage sending prices down from small gains. September Natural gas settled down 2.6 cents at $2.94.
The S&P 500 slipped on Friday on negative reactions to earnings reports from high-profile names such as Amazon, Exxon and Starbucks and a drop in shares of tobacco companies.
The Dow industrials, however, set a record high, buoyed by Chevron after the energy company’s results. The Dow gained 33 to end the week at 21,830, the Nasdaq closed at 6,374, down 7 and the S&P 500 dropped 3 to 2,472.