DTN Early Word Opening Livestock

Look for Cattle Futures to Open at Least Moderately Lower

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

Cattle: Steady-$2 LR Futures: 50-100 LR Live Equiv: $142.83 + .16*

Hogs: Steady-$1 LR Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $ 91.76 + .80**

* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue

** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue


Most cattle market monitors expect a typically quiet Tuesday with bids and asking prices poorly defined. Live and feeder futures should open at least moderately lower thanks to residual selling interest, technical worries and beef demand concerns.

The cash hog trade should open Tuesday with bids ranging from steady to $1 lower. Lean futures are likely to begin with mixed price action tied to follow-through selling on one hand and short-covering on the other. Indeed, with a major quarterly inventory waiting in the wings, we would be surprised to see major price swings in either direction as specs and commercials cautiously position ahead of the big news.


New showlists distributed by cattle feeders on Monday were smaller than last week, especially in Kansas and Colorado.


Cattle futures really took it on the chin Monday, crashed by the bearish on feed report and worries that beef production could overwhelm demand through the balance of the summer. Most actively traded August live was down the 300-point daily limit, with October not far behind. Most live contracts settled below their respective 40-day moving averages.


Out-front boxed beef demand was once again very impressive last week. The National Comprehensive Boxed Beef Output report indicated that 1,575 loads were sold with delivery specs of 22 days and more. Such a total represents a high for 2018, surely reflecting a high degree of confidence in beef demand through midsummer.


With next week scheduled to be broken up by the Fourth of July holiday, cattle buyers are starting the last full week of June with smaller shopping lists.


The pork carcass value closed solidly higher Monday, supported by better demand for processing items and butts.


The June 1 Hogs & Pigs report is expected to confirm the largest spring pig crop ever pulled in the history of the industry, possibly as large as 33 million head, nearly 4% more than last year. If confirmed, pork production in the fourth quarter will be record large, in critical need of both domestic/foreign demand and expanding chain speed.


Hog weights still are forecast lower the next few weeks and likely will be within a pound of last year's weights through mid-July. Furthermore, hot temperatures are expected to return later this week, working again to limit finish floor gains.


Lean hog futures usually trend lower from here into mid- to late July, as pork sales typically slow down.


CATTLE: (AFP) -- Butchers in France have written to the interior minister to ask for protection against violence and intimidation from vegan campaigners who "want to impose their lifestyle on the immense majority of people."

The letter from the head of the CFBCT butchers' confederation, which represents 18,000 businesses across the country, was sent to Interior Minister Gerard Collomb last week and seen by AFP on Monday.

"We count on your services and on the support of the entire government so that the physical, verbal and moral violence stops as soon as possible," CFBCT head Jean-François Guihard wrote in the letter.

Several butcher shops were vandalized and sprayed with fake blood in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France in April, while the CFBCT said there were also precedents in the southern Occitanie region.

As in other Western countries, eating habits are changing rapidly in traditionally carnivorous France where non-meat food options were once difficult to find on restaurant menus.

Vegetarianism and veganism have gained in popularity, leading to falling meat sales, while the animal rights movement is an increasingly visible presence in the media, led by campaigning actress Brigitte Bardot.

The butchers' group accused vegans of "wanting to impose on the immense majority of people their lifestyle, or even their ideology."

In March this year, a vegan cheesemaker was prosecuted over a Facebook message about a supermarket butcher who was killed in a terror attack.

"You are shocked that a murderer is killed by a terrorist," wrote the animal rights activist, named as Myriam by media. "Not me. I've got zero compassion for him, there's justice in it."

Faced with declining meat sales, farmers' groups have effectively lobbied the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron in recent weeks to prevent measures seen as anti-meat.

A proposal to require schools to introduce a vegetarian meal at least once a week was dropped in parliament, while food producers have also battled to ban the use of "steak", "fillet", "bacon" or "sausage" for non-meat products.

A proposal was tabled in the form of an amendment to an agriculture bill in parliament in April, which would hit vegetarian or vegan products marketed as meat alternatives.

HOGS: (CNN) -- Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, said Friday that he does not want Somali Muslims working in his home district's meat-packing plants for fear that they think consumers will go "to hell for eating pork chops."

In a conversation with Breitbart Radio on Friday about the latest immigration legislation, King shared anecdotes about immigrant food processing workers in his home district.

King claims that he spoke to Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat who is also the one of only two Muslim members of Congress, about the employment of Somali Muslims in the factories around his house, calling Ellison "the lead Muslim in Congress." According to King, Ellison said that Somali Muslims must go to the Imam for "special dispensation" to handle pork. Ellison's office declined to comment. "The rationale is that if infidels are eating this pork, they aren't eating it, so as long as they're preparing this pork for infidels, it helps send 'em to hell and it'll make Allah happy," he said on the radio. "I don't want people doing my pork that won't eat it. Let alone hope I'll go to hell for eating pork chops."

According to an analysis done for the Des Moines Register by Liesl Eathington of Iowa State University, the percentage of workers in those plants of Somali origin make up less than one-third of 1% of the total number of workers.

King is known for his anti-immigration stances, saying that "we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." King has also said he wants "an America so homogeneous that we look the same."

As a congressman from an Iowa district with a high concentration of meat-packing plants and pork packaging, King has made public comments about the pork industry before. Last week, King tweeted out an article about a Sweden soccer tournament that wiped pork from the menu.

"Sweden has capitulated to halal," he wrote.

John Harrington can be reached at harringtonsfotm@gmail.com

Follow John Harrington on Twitter @feelofthemarket


John Harrington