DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Firm Cattle Gains Develop

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

Firm gains are seen through the entire cattle complex. This is adding to the overall market support late Thursday although little to no direction has yet developed in cash cattle trade. Corn markets are higher in light trade activity. September corn futures are 3/4 cent higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 67 points lower while Nasdaq is up 16 points.


Light to moderate buyer support is slowly trickling into live cattle trade. There is growing support in late 2018 and early 2019 contracts based on expected demand support. But prices are unlikely to see significant market direction through the end of the session. Cash cattle bids have increased through the morning with bids at $106 to $107 live basis and $168 to $170 per cwt. So far all of the morning bids have been seen through the North with packers in the South still remaining very sluggish. Asking prices are still at $110 to $111 live basis and $174 and higher dressed. Both sides desire to get business done before late Friday. But desires alone typically do not deliver results. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.14 higher (select) and up $0.43 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 60 total loads reported (30 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 9 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).


Firm gains have quickly developed across the feeder cattle complex. This has pushed September and October contracts to triple-digit gains of $1.30 and $1.10 per cwt higher respectively. There is growing interest that additional support may slowly develop late in the session, although traders seem to have very limited interest in bringing additional active trade to the complex. With September futures holding above $150 per cwt, it appears that prices could hover in this market range through the end of the month.


October lean hog futures continue to shift lower with losses of $1 per cwt seen through the front month contract. The rest of the market has stabilized with prices trading mostly higher with prices 2 cents lower to 12 cents higher. The stability in cash hog markets and overall lack of new trader volume stepping back into the complex late in the week is likely to limit any wide market shift through the end of the session. Traders seem to be focusing on the upcoming holiday weekend, which should keep overall trade volume extremely sluggish Friday. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.03 lower at $36.85 per cwt with the range from $33.00 to $37.00 on 5,252 head reported sold. Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $0.12 lower at $36.66 per cwt with the range from $33.00 to $37.00 on 1,502 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 157 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values gained $0.98 per cwt at $65.66 per cwt. Lean hog index for 8/28 is at $46.45 down 0.64 with a projected two-day index of $45.85, down 0.60.

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


Rick Kment