Grains and Oilseeds Fall Ahead of USDA Reports

Cattle futures are continuing a week-long dip, pressured by weakness across the commodity markets and fears about softening demand.

April live-cattle futures slid 210 to $132, Cattle for June fell 232 to $123, Feeder-cattle futures for April declined 345 to $152.

Hog futures are also falling, pressured by profit-taking after early-week gains and selling across the meat markets. April hog futures slid 110 to 69.15, the May contract fell 157 to 77.27, other contracts are narrowly lower.

Grain and soybean futures fell Wednesday as traders squared positions ahead of major government crop reports due out later this morning.

Wheat led the declines, tumbling from gains posted earlier in the week as analysts evened up positions prior to the release of two closely-watched crop reports due out from USDA today at noon. Corn and soybeans also retreated from fresh highs marked in the previous session as traders positioned themselves ahead of today’s reports.

May Chicago Wheat fell 10 1/2 to $4.66, May KC wheat dropped 12 ¾ to $4.64, May soybeans declined 3 1/2 to $9.12, and May corn shed 3 1/4 to $3.69.

Cotton futures posted small gains on Wednesday with the may contract gaining 29 to 57.67, and December new crop gaining 42 to 57.15.

Gold futures fell further in New York trading on Wednesday afternoon, as traders took profits following a rally in the previous session when Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled caution on further rate increases.  April gold fell $9.10 to $1,226.70, and May silver closed at $15.26, up 1 cent.

Oil prices inched higher Wednesday but sold off through most of the afternoon with opinions divided about the latest addition to U.S. stockpiles. May crude gained 4 cents to $38.32 a barrel, gasoline futures fell 1.74 cents to $1.43, and Diesel futures fell a fraction to $1.15 a gallon.

Natural gas futures gained on Wednesday with a late spring winter weather event forecast for the northern plains and the northeast.  May nat gas gained 1 cent to 1.99

Stocks on Wall Street plowed further into positive territory for 2016 on Wednesday, helped for a second session by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that eased anxiety about potential interest rate hikes.  The Dow gained 83 to 17,716, the Nasdaq closed at 4,869, up 22 and the S&P 500 gained 9 to 2,063.'

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.