DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Cattle Futures Tumble Sharply Lower

John Harrington
By  John Harrington , DTN Livestock Analyst
(DTN file photo)


The feedlot trade was not tested Monday with buyers and sellers limiting early week efforts to the distribution of new showlists. Ready numbers seem generally larger than last week with only Texas offering fewer steers and heifers. A few preliminary live bids were noted at $117-$118 in several areas. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $.50 lower ($51.00-58.25, weighted average $57.60). The corn market closed 1-2 cents higher thanks to light commercial buying and some bottom-picking interest. Wall Street closed generally higher with the Dow up 72 points and the Nasdaq better by 7.


Live contracts plummeted mostly 117 to 175 points lower to start the week, hammered by Friday's on feed news of higher than expected October placement activity. Such bearish news was further aided by long liquidation and technical selling. Spot December needs to dig in above $115.50, the 100-day moving average, in order to avoid triggering further spec liquidation. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $.20 (select: $188.05) to off $1.06 (choice: $206.18) with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings (48 loads of choice cuts, 28 loads of select cuts, 14 loads of trimmings, 20 loads of ground beef).


Steady to $2 lower. Packer inquiry could surface as early as Tuesday given the holiday-shortened schedule. We look for at least moderate trade volume to surface no later than late Wednesday.


Feeders also aggressively retreated to the tune of triple-digits. January's next major support should also be around its 100-day moving average at $147.85. On an estimated run of 7,800 head (down from 10,818 last week but more than 6,020 in 2016), Oklahoma City sold feeder steers steady to $3 lower. Heifer mates were not well tested but had a softer undertone. Steer calves under 450 pounds were marked $8-$12 higher, while heavier calves sold steady to $7 lower. CME cash feeder index: 11/17: 156.91, off .64.


The lean hog market closed higher, ranging from 2 to 75 better in the far deferred to 105 to 140 higher in the first four contracts. Spot December successfully popped back over its 100-day averaged, helped by the premium status of the cash index and signs of decent wholesale pork demand. Carcass value jumped sharply higher today, supported by better demand for all primals except the picnic. Pork cut-out: $82.27, up $1.31. CME cash lean index for 11/16: 65.42, off .55 (DTN Projected lean index for 11/17: 64.83, off .59).


Steady to $1 lower. Look for hog buyers to resume business in the morning with another round of steady/weak bids.

John A. Harrington can be reached at john.harrington@dtn.com


John Harrington