DTN Before The Bell-Livestock

Livestock Futures Trade Mixed in Opening Rounds

John Harrington
By  John Harrington , DTN Livestock Analyst
(DTN photo by Nick Scalise)

Feedlot country is quiet as some traders return from Thanksgiving. Business may be essentially done for the week. Unsold cattle are probably priced around $120 in the South and $192 in the North. Cash hog bids this morning range from steady to $1 lower. For the most part, packers seem to working with the same money used on Wednesday. Corn futures are fractionally lower in the early rounds, checked by disappointing export sales and limited post holiday trade volume. In the spirit of Black Friday, the stock market is betting on a strong shopping season this morning with the Dow up 38 points and the Nasdaq better by 8. The CME is scheduled to close an hour early in observation of the Thanksgiving holiday.


Live cattle paper has open some lower, checked by initial profit taking and long liquidation. Yet the stability of recent feedlot business should work to generally stabilize the board. Furthermore, trade volume will no doubt be very quiet with many buyers and sellers still in holiday mode and remains on the sidelines. Open interest on Wednesday increased by 2,403 (382,179). Spot December liquidated by 2,535 (43,453) and February expanded by 910 (156,501). DTN projected slaughter for today is 117,000 head.


Feeders opened moderately lower, but have now moved back into the moderate green. This market will also be generally listless through the trading day, generally following the slowly shift live trade. Open interest on Wednesday decreased by 285 (56,212). CME cash feeder index for 11/21: 156.58, off 0.10.


Lean hog futures are moderately higher so far this morning, supported by residual buying interest and signs of better product demand at midweek. Traders continue to argue over the likely picture of late year fundamentals. For example, some are betting that record weekly slaughter is still waiting in the other wings. Others insist that we've already seen the crest of fourth quarter pork production. Open interest on Wednesday decreased by 1,626 (247,636). Spot December liquidated by 2,966 (34,633) and February increased by 383 (93,387). Cash lean index 11/21: 63.98, off 0.43. DTN projected slaughter for today is 430,000 head. Saturday's kill should total close to 345,000.

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


John Harrington