Price pressure has developed in all livestock markets with traders looking for increased market direction next week. The release of the cattle on feed report is causing some late-week position taking as traders don't expect a major shift in the report, but seem to be trying to prepare for anything. Hog markets continue to erode as contracts have set contract lows once again with little support expected to be seen. Corn prices are higher in light trade Friday. July corn futures are 3 cents higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 25 points higher while Nasdaq is up 7 points.
Narrow losses have moved into the live cattle complex after prices have bounced higher and lower through the lightly traded morning session. Traders are looking for additional direction in both cash cattle trade at the end of the week, and the afternoon release of the cattle on feed report. This may add some volatility to the market early next week, but the underlying firm tone seen over the last couple weeks is still expected to hold. Cash cattle bids have been floated at the same price levels as seen earlier in the week. The lack of movement so far midday Friday is expected to push trade off until after the cattle on feed report at 2 pm central time. Bids remain at $108 live and $173 dressed. Asking prices are not budging either, leaving a wide gap between the two levels with asking prices at $114 and higher live and $180 and up dressed. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.17 lower (select) and down $0.57 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 58 total loads reported (26 loads of choice cuts, 4 loads of select cuts, 9 loads of trimmings, 18 loads of ground beef).
Moderate losses have continued to develop through the feeder cattle futures. This has added increased weakness to the market with August futures leading the market lower with an 85 cent per cwt loss. The recent market support that has helped to sustain additional buyer support through the week, is being countered to the uncertainty on the upcoming cattle on feed report Friday afternoon. Trade is expected to remain extremely limited through the rest of the session.
Sharp losses have continued to add market pressure to the August complex, which is weakening all markets. Triple-digit losses are seen across the entire complex with prices falling $1.20 to $1.60 per cwt at midday. The inability to sustain any support that tried to redevelop Thursday is causing many traders to view the market even more bearish than previously expected. This could add increased pressure through next week as prices have already set contract lows once again. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.88 at $68.37 per cwt with the range from $64.00 to $70.00 on 5,231 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 173 loads selling with carcass values falling $1.83 per cwt. Lean hog index for 7/17 is at $79.15 down 0.54 with a projected two-day index of $78.62, down 0.53.
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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