Livestock markets are mixed in a narrow trading range at midday after giving back most of the early morning market shifts. Trade volume is sluggish at best, which is allowing for light buyer activity to move back into the complex. Corn markets are higher in light trade activity. September corn futures are 5 cents higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 115 points higher, while Nasdaq is up 51 points.
Narrow gains have slowly trickled into most live cattle trade. This is helping to spark some additional underlying support across the complex. Nearby futures are trading 10 to 40 cents per cwt higher with very limited overall activity seen in deferred markets. Sluggish activity is likely to be seen through the end of the session with prices hovering in the current trading range. Cash cattle interest remains sluggish at best with asking prices and bids still generally unavailable. The back-and-forth shift in futures trade has limited interest on both sides and will likely push cash sales toward the end of the week. Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are higher, up $1.87 (select) to up $1.12 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 52 total loads reported (21 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, 3 loads of trimmings, 14 loads of ground beef).
Limited activity is seen through feeder cattle futures with very limited interest seen across the complex. This may add some additional uncertainty to the complex as traders are looking for the most pressure in deferred contracts. These deferred markets are holding losses of 40 to 60 cents per cwt as traders are focusing not only on beef demand, but also outside market shifts.
Narrow gains have held in most lean hog futures at midday, although the inability to hang onto strong early gains of $1 per cwt through nearby contracts continues to erode the overall confidence of buyers at this point. But traders continue to look at a firming market trend although cash markets are still under strong pressure. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $1.10 at $42.63 per cwt with the range from $42.00 to $43.50 on 4,560 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 a total of 202 loads selling with cutout values falling 0.74 per cwt at $70.27 per cwt in the morning report. Lean hog index for 8/10 is at $58.81 down 1.76 with a projected two-day index of $56.81, down 1.47.
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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