Firm cattle market gains have being offset by the lack of direction and mixed prices across the lean hog complex. Overall trade volume remains sluggish, and is expected to limit activity and the direction of the market through the end of the session. Corn prices are lower in light trade Monday. July corn futures are 1/4 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 142 points higher while Nasdaq is up 60 points.
Firm price support has slowly trickled into live cattle trade with prices 30 to 50 cents higher at midday. Overall trade volume remains sluggish with the few traders in the market focusing on adjusting prices higher on expectations of current demand and the potential that additional technical support may move into the market through the month of July. Cash markets are still undeveloped Thursday morning although packers are starting to float bids for the week. It is expected that the support in futures trade may be helping to push bids above lows of last week. Bids midday are seen at $108 to $110 live basis and $170 per cwt dressed. Asking prices are still well above these levels at $113 to $115 live and $176 and higher dressed. Trade may not be developing until Friday, although the tone of the market is firming. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.10 lower (select) and down $1.20 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 65 total loads reported (33 loads of choice cuts, 18 loads of select cuts, 4 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).
Light to moderate buyer support is slowly trickling into the feeder cattle complex Thursday morning. At this point most of the focus is short-term based with very limited activity redeveloping Thursday following the holiday on Wednesday. It is likely that current gains will hold as there is very little fundamental or technical incentive for traders to step back into the complex over the next couple hours. August futures are holding narrow single digit gains of 7 cents per cwt, while most activity is moving back into the fall and winter contracts based on overall production costs and prices are holding 30-to-70-cent gains.
Trade activity is leaving the overall market directionless as traders returned from celebrating the nation's independence. It appears that overall trade activity is sluggish with some parties still opting to stay out of the market. This is generally expected as overall participation in the market is likely to be sluggish through the end of the week. When a holiday falls midweek, it typically keeps market interest sluggish all week long as a portion of traders and market participants take off early in the week with others not returning until the next week after the holiday. This will likely limit overall market shifts in the next couple of days. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the National Direct morning cash hog report. Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The National Pork Plant Report posted 145 loads selling with carcass values adding $0.78 per cwt. Lean hog index for 7/2 is at $82.51 down 0.46 with a projected two-day index of $82.24, down 0.27.
Rick Kment can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.