DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Lean Hog Futures Blast to Two-Week High Before Thanksgiving

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


The cash cattle trade was very limited Wednesday with just a few live deals reported in Colorado and western Nebraska at $120.50. According to the closing report, the national hog base is .06 higher ($50.00-$58.00, weighted average $56.65). Corn futures closed fractionally higher, mildly supported by better action in the bean market. The stock market closed mixed with the Dow negative by 64 points and the Nasdaq up 4.


Evidence of steady/firm country sales Tuesday was enough to light a fire under live futures from the get-go Wednesday. Contracts settle 72 to 142 higher. Barring a major sell-off on Friday, Feb and April stand ready to close the week well over 40-day moving average. Beef cut-outs: mixed, up $.38 (choice: $209.01) to off $.01 (select: $188.64) with moderate to good demand and moderate to heavy offerings (84 loads of choice cuts, 43 loads of select cuts, 21 loads of trimmings, 25 loads of ground beef).


Steady w/Tuesday's best. Clean-up action is certainly possible on Friday given trade volume totals barely moderate. Yet cash business could be done for the week.


Feeders gapped higher on the opening, and basically never looked back. Prices settled 110 to 145 higher, boosted by buyers watching renewed energy in deferred live contracts. CME cash feeder index: 11/21: 156.58, off .13.


Lean issues closed sharply higher, up 120 to 215. Spot December settle just below its 40-day moving average and at its highest point since the first trading week of November. Buying interest received a shot in the arm late in the session when the monthly cold storage report confirmed a smaller stockpile of frozen pork than generally anticipated. The choppy carcass value recovered more than a buck Wednesday, supported by stronger demand for fresh cuts, butts, picnics and hams. Pork cut-out: $81.98, up $1.11. CME cash lean index for 11/20: 64.41, off .42 (DTN Projected lean index for 11/21: 63.98, off .43).


Steady. Look for late week cash trading to open on a steady basis with some packers still pushing numbers toward a big Saturday kill.

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


John Harrington