DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Cattle Futures Shift Higher

Rick Kment
By  Rick Kment , DTN Analyst
(DTN photo by Russ Quinn)

Gains have held in cattle trade through the morning with feeder cattle trade once again setting the pace for higher moving market prices. Limited activity is seen through the entire complex, which may keep markets hovering in the current range through the end of the session. Corn markets are lower in light trade activity. September corn futures are 3/4 cent lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 223 points higher, while Nasdaq is down 119 points.


Firm gains have continued to hold in cattle trade early Wednesday despite pressure in most other commodity trade. Nearby live cattle futures are stuck in a tight trading range through the morning. Gains in the complex are limited to 50- to 65-cent market moves, while traders seem generally comfortable with the ability to draw additional activity back into the complex. But overall volume remains sluggish, which may continue to limit the upside in market activity over the near future. Cash cattle interest is starting to improve through the morning, although it appears that active trade may still be a ways in the distance. Bids are seen through the morning at $108 live basis in most areas with dressed bids developing near $172 to $173 per cwt. Asking prices are at $112 to $114 live and $178 and higher dressed. This is expected to push most active trade into Thursday or Friday, with late Friday a strong possibility. The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction Wednesday listed a total of 488 head, all from Kansas, with zero actually sold, 488 head listed as unsold, and zero head listed as PO (Passed Offer). Asking prices ranged from $110.00 to $111.00. All cattle listed had a one to nine day delivery date. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.58 lower (select) and up $0.74 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 75 total loads reported (29 loads of choice cuts, 35 loads of select cuts, five loads of trimmings, six loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle trade is leading the cattle futures complex higher with increased overall support developing in nearby and deferred contracts midday. Although prices have wavered through most of the morning, gains have been consistent, with markets holding near session highs at midday. All contracts are grouped in a tight trading range from 80 cents to $1 per cwt, with September contracts leading the market higher with a $1 per cwt gain. There may be some additional buyer support moving back into the complex as traders assess the pressure during early August with longer-term market support likely to develop in the coming weeks.


Early support in lean hog futures have faded following pressure in most other commodity and financial markets. Nearby lean hog trade is mixed within a narrow range from 5 cents lower to 7 cents higher. Although trade volume is likely to remain sluggish, prices are likely to shift higher and lower within a limited range through the rest of the session. This may not create any market signals given the strong underlying support in the complex, but may curb short-term support from moving back into the complex over the near future. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.74 at $42.04 per cwt with the range from $40.00 to $43.50 on 6,974 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.67 at $42.07 per cwt with the range from $41.50 to $42.50 on 2,424 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted a total of 212 loads selling with cutout values falling $1.09 per cwt at $70.27 per cwt in the morning report.Lean hog index for 8/13 is at $56.81 down 1.47 with a projected two-day index of $55.23, down 1.58.

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


Rick Kment