DTN Early Word Opening Livestock

Lean Futures Likely to Open Mixed as Spot August Prepares to Expire

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

Cattle: Steady-$2 LR Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $138.33 +1.16*

Hogs: $1-2 LR Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $ 76.12 - .06**

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

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


It seems safe †o say that we're in another dull and do-nothing Tuesday in the cattle country. Look for bids and asking prices to remain poorly defined until the second half of the week. Look for cattle futures to open on a mixed basis thanks to a combination of long liquidation and short-covering.

Hog buyers are likely to keep swinging the bearish hammer, bidding another $1 to 2 lower. Lean futures should also begin with mixed price action. Keep in mind that spot August goes off the board at 12 p.m. (CT).


Beef cutouts closed sharply higher on Monday with early-week demand and box movement described as "good."


New showlists distributed in cattle-feeding country was generally larger than last week (especially in the South) with only Nebraska showing a few more ready steers and heifers.


For the week ending Aug. 10, the comprehensive boxed beef report continued to document strong out-front demand. Box sales with delivery specs off 22 or more days totaled 1,452 loads.


Most live cattle contracts closed near the session lows and challenged or moved below the late July lows. Spot August live is nearly $4 below last week's lower cash cattle market. This compares with an "average" basis of about $1.50 under cash heading into mid-August. Moves through those levels would then have the technicians looking for the June lows. Spot August live is challenging the 40-day moving average, while October and December have now dropped below the 100-day moving average.


With nearby lean futures still aggressively discounted (underscored by the fact the spot August expires Tuesday at high noon), it remains possible that late-summer cash stability could suddenly force the board to move closer.


This week's hog slaughter is expected to take a bearish jump with most private analysts forecasting a weekly kill close to 2.45 million head.


Historically, post Labor Day prices often firm, especially when cash hog prices fall hard as they have this year.


When the October contract becomes the lead month, with hog values still likely in decline, further loses are expected in the market. The short-term and long-term trends are decidedly bearish. The structure of the market is bearish asthe discount in the October contract relative to August is larger than typical for this time of year.


CATTLE:North American Meat Institute) -- Making a quick bag lunch for kids isn't hard, but making a lunch that will nourish and be enjoyed by children can be tricky. The North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has created a new "Beef Up the Lunch Box" series of lunch recipes and menus that incorporate prepared beef favorites likes summer sausage, roast beef, pastrami and corned beef into nutritious and delicious recipes that kids will eat and enjoy and that will help keep hunger at bay during the day.

Good nutrition is essential for proper growth, concentration and learning. Although a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips and cookies lunch may tempt children, it offers lackluster nutrition and can't keep the hunger away like a nutrient-dense menu featuring the complete protein found in meat. Including meat in a meal offers children many key nutrients the protein they need for growth , the most absorbable form of iron called heme iron , which is key for good energy and cognition , and the micronutrient B12, which is only found in animal products and has been shown to enhance brain development and cognitive functio.

Developed by a Culinary Institute of America trained chef and veteran mom, The "Beef Up the Lunch Box" menu ideas and recipes go beyond the traditional sandwich and use great taste and interesting presentations to entice the pickiest of eaters. Compared to a peanut butter and jelly lunch, these healthy recipes offer more high quality protein, fiber, fewer calories, less sugar and more key nutrients.

Short, humorous how-to videos and recipes offer tips on making the lunches that include: • Ultra Thin Pastrami Sandwich • Salami and Whole Grain Pasta Salad Lunch • Kid-Cuterie • Meaty Cheesy Pinwheels • Sweet and Savory Snackin' Lunch

"We recognize the daily challenge of making nutritious meals that kids enjoy and we hope these creative and nutritious recipes and menu tips will help ease the lunch-making challenge for Moms and Dads everywhere," said Meat Institute Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Janet Riley. "So beef up your kids lunch boxes and help power their bodies and brains throughout the day."

HOGS: 570 WNAX (SD) -- Farmers in the region want quick resolution to the current trade war due to the negative impact it's having on their bottom line. However, United States Ambassador to China Terry Branstad says he isn't sure how long the tit for tat with China will last.

However, Branstad says the President has been justified in putting tariffs on imports of Chinese goods into the U.S. He says China is hurting worse than the U.S. with the drop in their stock market and their currency.

Branstad says it is unfortunate U.S. farmers have been collateral damage in the trade war. He isn't sure what it will take for China to finally cut a deal with the U.S., but says intellectual property is one of the problem areas.

Branstad says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been in talks with Chinese officials in the last two weeks, so the countries are trying to negotiate a deal.

John Harrington can be reached at harringtonsfotm@gmail.com

Follow him on Twitter @feelofthemarket


John Harrington