DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Sluggish Trade Seen Across Livestock Complex

Rick Kment
By  Rick Kment , DTN Analyst
(DTN photo by Russ Quinn)

Light trade has developed through the livestock complex Friday morning. The most significant support is seen in feeder cattle futures. Narrow trading ranges are seen in live cattle and feeder cattle futures. Corn prices are lower in light trade. March corn futures are 2 cents lower Thursday. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 161 points higher while Nasdaq is up 41 points.


Mixed trade in a narrow range has continued to draw buyer activity into the market although there is growing support through the market. Prices are hovering in a narrow range with prices hovering from 12 cents lower to 15 cents per cwt higher. There is very little additional support expected to develop in the market over the near future. Cash cattle business is essentially done for the week. Even though a few more clean-up deals may develop over the next couple of days, it is likely that prices will not move significantly over the near future. Cash trade appears to be done for the week following moderate activity that trickled into the market through the week. Activity will continue to develop over the next week, although interest may not be seen early in the week. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.67 lower (select) and down $0.40 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 68 total loads reported (31 loads of choice cuts, 8 loads of select cuts, 14 loads of trimmings, 15 loads of ground beef).


Firm gains have developed through the feeder cattle complex. The steady move higher helped to increased trade interest late Friday which continues to help support the entire complex. There is more focus expected to develop early next week, although buyer interest may be sluggish through early next week. There is likely to be some concern surrounding the lack of support in live cattle markets.


Moderate support continues to develop in nearby contracts following increased buyer support ahead of the holiday weekend. Markets will remain closed Monday, with increased overall buyer activity seen in the February and April contracts. The overall buyer interest remains sluggish as traders focus on closing out the week. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.03 at $69.87 per cwt with the range from $68.00 to $71.50 on 3,217 head reported sold. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 201 loads selling with carcass values adding $1.16 per cwt. Lean hog index for 1/09 is at $67.28 up $0.91 with a projected two-day index of $68.46, up $1.18.

Rick Kment can be reached at rick.kment@dtn.com


Rick Kment