Strong underlying support is moving into the lean hog futures complex through late morning. This is still limiting trade volume in all markets, as traders continue to focus on outside market shifts as well as potential cash trade activity. Corn prices are lower in light trade Thursday. July corn futures are 4 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 155 points lower while Nasdaq is down 19 points.
Live cattle futures are holding from 57 cents lower in deferred contracts to 40 cents higher in nearby summer futures. The focus on strong gains late last week has quickly offset early morning losses. This could bring some additional pressure to the complex which will likely keep prices contained in a narrow range through most of the session. Cash cattle interest remains quiet with very limited activity seen on either side of the market. Bids and asking prices are unavailable at this point and not likely to be seen until midweek. The choppy shifts in futures trade is likely to limit overall cash market direction, and active trade may not develop until the last half of the week. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.54 higher (select) and up $1.49 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 58 total loads reported (23 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of ground beef).
Light trade is keeping prices mixed in feeder cattle trade. The support seen late last week has helped to spark some midmorning buyer support across the complex. August futures are leading the market with a 35 cent per cwt gain, with increased underlying support seen through the market. Although nearby contracts have not been able to break away from the $148 per cwt level, the focus on increased support could draw increased activity later in the week.
Firm buyer support is quickly moving into the lean hog futures trade with July futures holding a $1.50 per cwt rally. The expectation that additional support is moving into the complex based on overall tighter hog supplies that may continue through the summer months could add some underlying support to the complex. This has moved July futures to $83.20. Front month futures are at the highest level since February, with commercial support still quickly moving back into the market. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.04 at $83.01 per cwt with the range from $76.00 to $84.00 on 3,181 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 106 loads selling with carcass values falling $0.25 per cwt. Lean hog index for 6/14 is at $81.44 up 1.35 with a projected two-day index of $82.86, up 1.42.
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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