Sharp gains have developed in lean hog future trade with October contracts holding a $2.65 per cwt rally. The rest of the complex remained generally subdued as all of 2019 contracts are holding moderate gains. Light pressure is holding in cattle markets with no direction developing Thursday. Corn markets are higher in light trade activity. September corn futures are 1 cent higher. Stock markets are lower in light trade. The Dow Jones is 20 points lower while Nasdaq is down 92 points.
Trade across live cattle futures is very limited early Thursday with single-digit losses seen through most of the morning. Even though losses have expanded at midday, markets are trading steady to 25 cents lower. This will likely keep markets in the sideways trading pattern over the near future. Strong pressure in beef values may limit any buying moving into the complex Thursday as traders continue to focus on overall fundamental market direction through the end of the week. Cash cattle bids are slowly developing Thursday morning with live bids holding a wide range from $103 to $106 per cwt. Dressed bids remain at $169 to $170 per cwt. Trade is likely to be delayed until late this afternoon, or Friday sometime with a moderate gap still existing between bids and asking prices. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $3.13 lower (select) and down $0.92 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 84 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 29 loads of select cuts, 13 loads of trimmings, 15 loads of ground beef).
Limited trade is seen in feeder cattle trade with traders showing very little overall interest in the complex. There is growing pressure across the entire cattle complex, but traders are having a hard time finding additional selling interest given the overall lack of support in grain markets and expected longer-term support in beef through the end of the year.
Strong triple-digit gains have redeveloped in lean hog futures trade through the complex. Thursday morning following firming support based on the gains in cash hog markets. October futures are leading the complex with a $2.65 per cwt gain. Although these prices have slipped slightly from morning highs, the overall support in the complex remains firm, which could help to draw additional trade back into the market. Even with the market support, prices are still in the lower end of the trading range for the year. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $1.06 higher at $38.33 per cwt with the range from $35.00 to $40.00 on 6,045 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $1.65 higher at $39.59 per cwt with the range from $35.00 to $40.00 on 3,305 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 205 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values fell $0.47 per cwt at $67.48 per cwt. Lean hog index for 9/4 is at $45.67 up 0.23 with a projected two-day index of $45.92, up 0.25.
Rick Kment can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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