Light to moderate gains in cattle trade Friday morning are being offset by pressure in the hog complex. The continued weakness in nearby and deferred lean hog futures has sparked liquidation through the end of the week. Corn prices are lower in light trade Tuesday. July corn futures are 1/4 cent lower. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 169 points higher while Nasdaq is down 4 points.
Mixed trade is seen across live cattle futures with very limited trade volume developing across the entire complex. This is keeping prices 35 cents lower in June futures, while the rest of the complex his holding steady to 30 cents higher. There is increased uncertainty surrounding the lack of direction in cash trade and mixed moves in beef values. Traders may continue to focus on the ability to spark some early week interest with the upcoming Fourth of July holiday hopefully sparking some renewed beef demand. Cash activity remains generally quiet across most areas. There was limited trade reported in Texas at $110 per cwt through the morning. This is generally $2 per cwt lower than last week's trade average. Bids are seen at $108 to $110 live and $172 to $175 dressed. It may be after the cattle on feed report when active trade develops in most areas. Asking prices are holding at $115 live and $183 dressed. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $2.32 higher (select) and down $0.30 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 49 total loads reported (16 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 19 loads of ground beef).
Narrow gains have continued to hold across feeder cattle futures with prices seen 2 to 25 cents per cwt higher at midday. The overall lack of direction from fundamental and technical factors continues to create some concerns through the entire complex. Traders are looking for additional direction following the cattle on feed report, but for now it is not expected that any major surprises will develop in the market which would quickly adjust market direction early next week.
Moderate to strong pressure is seen through lean hog futures with active losses seen in front-month July contracts. This is pushing prices $1.25 per cwt lower, and below $80 per cwt. The other nearby contracts are holding losses near $1 per cwt which is adding overall pressure to the entire hog complex at the end of the week. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.63 at $80.95 per cwt with the range from $73.00 to $81.49 on 2,855 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $2.95 at $78.68 per cwt with the range from $74.00 to $81.00 on 402 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 158 loads selling with carcass values falling $0.19 per cwt. Lean hog index for 6/19 is at $85.14 up 1.09 with a projected two-day index of $85.79, up 0.65.
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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