Livestock futures have moved very little through the morning as prices have bounced back and forth from narrow losses to light gains in all cattle markets. Lean hog futures have attempted to bring some underlying support to the complex following Monday's market correction. But early gains have eroded at midday. Corn markets are lower in light trade activity. September corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 103 points higher while Nasdaq is up 64 points.
Narrow trading ranges have defined the entire cattle complex with nearby contracts holding gains of 20 to 30 cents per cwt. Deferred contracts are being affected by the light pressure that has developed in feeder cattle trade, as February through October 2019 live cattle futures is trading steady to 30 cents per cwt lower. The overall lack of support may continue to cause prices to chop higher and lower through the end of the Tuesday session. Cash cattle interest is quiet with bids and asking prices still generally undeveloped. It may be midweek before asking prices and bids may be seen. Trade is expected to be pushed off until the second half of the week, although the tone of the market remains weak given the lack of direction in futures trade. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $2.03 higher (select) and down $0.05 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 52 total loads reported (33 loads of choice cuts, 10 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 10 loads of ground beef).
Sluggish market activity is seen in feeder cattle trade with prices hovering in a very narrow trading range. Nearby contracts are trading from 17 cents lower to 5 cents higher as the overall tone of the market has remained weak. But the lower prices at midday have continued the moves back and forth on either side of unchanged, which has developed through the morning. The lack of direction in feeder cattle futures is quickly affecting moves in live cattle trade.
Moderate buyer support has moved back into the lean hog complex Tuesday morning following active corrective action seen Monday. The triple-digit losses in nearby trade Monday seems to have created some additional buyer confidence through the entire complex with prices 30 to 97 cents per cwt higher midday Tuesday. The potential to elevate price levels through the rest of the week has caused some additional market interest across the entire complex. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.64 at $39.54 per cwt with the range from $37.00 to $40.00 on 4,976 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.34 at $39.95 per cwt with the range from $39.00 to $40.00 on 1,600 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 249 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values fell 32 cents per cwt at $66.86 per cwt. Lean hog index for 8/17 is at $51.51 down 1.43 with a projected two-day index of $50.71, down 0.80.
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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