DTN Midday Livestock Comments

Cattle Complex Under Pressure

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

LIVE CATTLE:

Live cattle futures are struggling as April and June have broken below technical support. The trend higher may have ended with prices trading at levels last seen more than two weeks ago. If appears the Cattle on Feed report was a victim of "buy the rumor, sell the fact" activity. Lower futures could have some influence on cash activity this week if the market fails to find support. Cash cattle trade is non-existent. Boxed beef cut-outs are higher at midday. Choice are up $1.48 with select up $1.55 with moderate movement of 52 loads reported (35 loads of choice cuts, 6 loads of select cuts, 3 loads of trimmings and 8 loads of ground beef). Cattle slaughter is projected at 478,000 head.

FEEDER CATTLE:

Feeder cattle futures post another day of triple-digit losses. The rally last week has quickly been eliminated with March and April contracts testing the low end of the price range. Selling pressure from live cattle has been embraced by feeders are traders push price in the path of least resistance.

LEAN HOGS:

Lean hogs have run out of the short-covering that pushed futures nearly $6.00 higher in the past three days. After trading holding below the highs of yesterday, futures are now exhibiting enough strength to move into positive territory with April leading the charge with an increase of $1.00. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning report. The weighted average price is $1.19 higher at $48.38 with a range from $42.00 -- $50.00. The National Pork Plant report recorded 236 loads selling on the morning report with 204 loads of pork cuts and 32 loads of trim/process. Carcass values added $2.57 per cwt at $68.99 per cwt. The Lean hog index report has been delayed

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

(CZ)

Robin Schmahl