DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Cattle Futures Erode Wednesday

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

Light to moderate pressure has redeveloped in cattle trade, allowing most contracts to shift lower through morning activity. Hog futures are mixed following firm buyer interest moving back into the market. Corn markets are higher in light trade activity. September corn futures are 3/4 cent higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 87 points higher while Nasdaq is up 70 points.


Sluggish trade remains in live cattle futures with front month August holding a narrow 20 cent gain. The rest of the complex is holding light to moderate losses ranging from 50 to 80 cents per cwt. There is growing pressure as deferred feeder cattle trade is holding losses of $1 per cwt. This is likely to leave markets under light to moderate pressure through the rest of the session. Cash cattle bids have started to develop through the morning Wednesday with live bids of $106 evident in several areas. Dressed bids are seen at $168 to $170 per cwt through the North. This is in line with the limited trade seen in Iowa Tuesday, and could help to firm the tone later in the week. Asking prices are seen at $111 to $112 live and $175 and higher dressed. The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 751 head (328 head for Kansas, and 423 head for Nebraska), no cattle actually sold, and no cattle were listed as PO (Passed Offer). Asking prices ranged from 108.00-108.50. All cattle listed were set for a 1-9 day delivery. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.65 lower (select) and up $0.56 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 63 total loads reported (37 loads of choice cuts, 13 loads of select cuts, zero loads of trimmings, 12 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle futures have posted moderate to strong losses following the pressure seen Tuesday. The announcement that a 6-year-old beef cow in Florida has tested positive with atypical BSE has created some uncertainty in the market, although this is not expected to have any significant market impact. The bounce higher in grain markets is also putting additional pressure in nearby and deferred feeder cattle trade.


Early support has quickly eroded through the morning with prices at midday holding 30 cents lower to 65 cents higher. The overall pressure that has developed through cattle trade and overall lack of commercial interest being rekindled midweek is helping to bring additional uncertainty back to the complex. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.13 lower at $36.92 per cwt with the range from $33.00 to $37.00 on 5,619 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.04 lower at $36.81 per cwt with the range from $33.00 to $37.00 on 2,159 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 241 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values fell $0.52 per cwt at $64.38 per cwt. Lean hog index for 8/27 is at $47.09 down 0.70 with a projected two-day index of $46.45, down 0.64.

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


Rick Kment