DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Losses Hold Despite Light Trade

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

Triple-digit losses have quickly developed across nearly all contracts Wednesday morning as aggressive pressure is seen in both cattle and hog futures. Pressure in outside markets is also adding to the overall softness in cattle markets. Corn markets are lower in light trade activity. September corn futures are 4 cents lower. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 31 points lower while Nasdaq is up 22 points.


Firm pressure has continued to quickly move through the entire complex. All contracts are trading in a generally narrow trading range. This has pushed prices $1 to $1.32 per cwt at midday. Even though futures have pulled back from early market lows, the potential to hold these lower prices is not only affecting daily market moves, but could spark additional pressure through the rest of the week. Cash cattle markets are showing some limited life with initial bids starting to move into the complex. This is posting live bids at $107 to $109 per cwt, while dressed bids are seen from $171 to $173 per cwt. So far all bids seen have been in the North, which may be the extent of market activity for the day. Current asking prices are seen at $112 and higher live and $178 dressed. The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 359 head, all from Kansas, with 280 actually sold at $109.50, zero head were listed as unsold, and 79 head were listed as PO (Passed Offer). All cattle listed were set for a 1-9 day delivery. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.26 higher (select) and up $0.07 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 58 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 10 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of ground beef).


Strong market pressure has continued to be seen through feeder cattle futures through the end of the morning as midday prices have hovered between $1.17 and $1.80 per cwt in most nearby contracts. August futures are lightly traded with just a 2 cent loss, although the overall lack of support in the cattle complex is creating renewed uncertainty and concern through the entire complex, September futures are still well over $1 per cwt above short-term support levels, leaving prices hovering in the current sideways trading range.


Sharp losses have flooded back into the lean hog complex through the morning Wednesday. This has pushed front-month October contracts $2 per cwt lower at midday. Even though prices have backed away from session lows seen earlier in the morning, the weaker tone in the entire hog and livestock market is adding concern to traders who have quickly pushed prices aggressively higher through the last week. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is lower $0.69 at $38.64 per cwt with the range from $36.00 to $40.00 on 5,005 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $1.17 at $38.11 per cwt with the range from $36.00 to $39.00 on 1,399 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 249 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values gained $0.84 per cwt at $67.03 per cwt. Lean hog index for 8/20 is at $50.71 down 0.80 with a projected two-day index of $50.01, down 0.70.

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


Rick Kment