DTN Before The Bell-Livestock

Lean Hog Futures Mixed in Narrow Range

Rick Kment
By  Rick Kment , DTN Analyst
(DTN photo by Nick Scalise)

Strong pressure is seen in cattle trade early Wednesday morning as widespread concerns of what additional pressure will be seen following the latest round in trade-war positioning. Hog futures are lightly traded, but mixed in sluggish market activity. Corn prices are lower in light trade. Stock markets are lower, Dow Jones is 149 points lower while Nasdaq is down 25 points.


Open: $1 to $2 lower. Strong market pressure has quickly flooded through live cattle trade following losses in feeder cattle Wednesday morning. The overall concern that trade interest will remain defensive surrounding proposed new tariff levels and what reaction this will bring from China is causing significant market pressure. August live cattle futures are holding $1.95 per cwt losses, limiting buyer activity in all markets. Cash cattle interest remains quiet Wednesday morning with initial bids of $108 per cwt live basis seen in Texas. Asking prices are still well above this level at $115 and higher live and $185 dressed. Active trade may not be seen until sometime Friday. Open interest Tuesday gained 603 positions (321,469). Spot month August contracts lost 7,366 positions (103,099) and October contracts added 4,203 positions (100,836). DTN projected slaughter for Wednesday is 119,000 head.


Open: $2 to $2.50 lower. Strong pressure has continued to develop across feeder cattle futures through the first few minutes of trade Wednesday. The concern of escalating trade war uncertainty as the US had released the latest round of items that would be included in China Tariffs. This is creating additional volatility in not only the cattle market, but most commodities midweek. Cash index for 7/9 is listed at $146.75 up 0.27. Open interest Tuesday fell 87 positions (47,117).


Open: Mixed. Traders are stepping back into the market early Wednesday morning with the focus on trying to stabilize price levels following limit losses Tuesday. The tone of the market still remains extremely weak, but current prices are also creating an opportunity for short covering activity. This may spark some underlying market shifts over the near future, and could keep markets generally stable. Cash hog trade Wednesday is steady to $2.00 lower per cwt. Most bids are 50 cents to $1 lower. Open interest Tuesday fell 2,417 positions (231,172). Spot month July fell 1,041 positions (9,947) and August slipped 3,504 positions (63,458). Cash lean index for 7/9 is $81.67 down 0.25. DTN projected slaughter for Wednesday is at 457,000 head. Saturday runs are expected to be seen at 38,000 head.

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


Rick Kment