DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Traders Positioning Ahead of Report

Robin Schmahl
By  Robin Schmahl , DTN Contributing Analyst
(DTN photo by Russ Quinn)

The cattle complex is showing some strength with traders positioning themselves ahead of the Cattle on Feed report to be released this afternoon. Trade estimates are for on-feed at 105.5%, placements at 104.8% and marketings at 100.0%. The trading range so far for live cattle futures has shown a lower low and lower high for the October contract and sideways for other contracts. Corn futures continue to extend gains with December up 2 cents. The Dow is 94 points higher with the Nasdaq down 4 points.


Futures are showing minor gains as traders position themselves for the Cattle on Feed report to be released this afternoon. The July report showed above-average placements and this is expected again for August. Placements are expected to be the largest since 2012. Cash cattle are negotiated at $175 on a dressed basis with live cattle live cattle bids remaining at $108 and offers $111.50 with limited business reported. Boxed beef cut-outs are mixed at midday, $0.46 higher (choice) and down $0.20 (select). Total volume reported is 52 loads (25 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 6 loads of trimmings, and 10 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle futures are holding their own, trying to keep their head above water. Upside movement will be limited as feeder futures keep pace with live futures. Feeder steers have been lightly tested this week, but show a better undertone. The supply of feeders this week consist of 26% steers and 74% heifers. Steer prices range for $154.50-$165 with heifers ranging from $146.80-$150.


Although making new highs for the move Thursday, futures are struggling Friday. December and February are taking the brunt of selling with sliding carcass values. Front-month October, although lower, continues to hold gains well. Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash report. The weighted average price is $0.49 lower at $57.88 per cwt with a range of $56 to $59. The National Pork midday report showed 156 loads selling. Carcass valued declined $0.62 per cwt at $77.58. Lean hog index for 9/19 is $57.44, up $1.45, with the projected two-day index at $59.09, up $1.65.

Robin Schmahl can be reached at: rschmahl@agdairy.com


Robin Schmahl