DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Limited Pressure Continues Tuesday

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

Pressure is seen through livestock futures with very limited activity seen in all markets. Narrow losses are being led by moderate pressure in front-month contracts, but traders are unwilling to move outside of the narrow trading range Tuesday. Corn markets are steady to lower in light trade activity. September corn futures are 1/2 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 156 points higher while Nasdaq is up 50 points.


Limited price pressure is seen in the live cattle futures complex with traders focusing on slowly backing away from recent market support seen during the first week of September. With the exception of front month October futures, which are holding 90 cent losses, the rest of the complex has posted narrow to moderate pressure as traders trend lower due to overall market apathy. Over the past three weeks, live cattle futures have remained confined in a well-entrenched $2 price range. This could limit overall activity through the rest of the session. Cash cattle interest is undeveloped Tuesday morning with bids and asking prices unavailable at this point. There is likely to be some additional market development near midweek, but active trade is not expected until the second half of the week, and potentially late Friday. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.04 higher (select) and up $0.33 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 68 total loads reported (40 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 4 loads of trimmings, 13 loads of ground beef).


Narrow losses have trickled into feeder cattle futures given the inability for front month live cattle futures to show any sign of support through the morning. Most traders remain uninterested in actively stepping into the cattle market and feeder cattle complex specifically, with prices hovering in a tight trading range of 30 to 50 cents per cwt. The overall lack of support in the market continues to spark some additional price weakness, but given the strong market range boundaries seen over the last several weeks, prices are unlikely to break out of the choppy sideways trend.


Early support that in lean hog futures was very limited with prices shifting lower as pressure has slowly trickled into the complex. Nearby contracts have posted the most aggressive losses with October and December contracts holding losses of 40 to 75 cents per cwt respectively. The rest of the complex remains steady to 25 cents lower as very limited interest is seen in the entire market. The potential for limited buying moving into the market is increasing, which could spark a late-day bounce in market price. Even if prices move higher before closing bell, there is likely to be limited interest or direction change, given overall lackluster market activity. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $1.81 higher at $44.90 per cwt with the range from $40.00 to $48.00 on 4,187 head reported sold. Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $3.00 higher at $47.90 per cwt with the range from $40.00 to $48.00 on 1,735 head reported sold. The National Pork Plant Report posted 245 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values added $3.61 per cwt at $71.46 per cwt. Lean hog index for 9/7 is at $47.00 up 0.99 with a projected two-day index of $47.55, up 0.55.

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


Rick Kment