DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Feeder Prices Respond to Cheaper Corn

Elaine Kub
By  Elaine Kub , Contributing Analyst
(DTN file photo)

GENERAL COMMENTS: From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: June live cattle up $3.95, August live cattle up $2.13, August feeder cattle up $3.17, September feeder cattle up $2.65, July lean hogs off $4.15, August lean hogs off $1.90. Amid a fairly quiet end-of-week, cash cattle business ranged from steady to $2 lower than last week. According the closing report, the national hog base is $0.80 lower ($61.00 to $70.00, weighted average $69.06). Corn futures closed sharply lower amid surprising acreage figures from USDA, but soybeans and soybean meal moved higher Friday. The stock market closed higher, up 17 points Friday in the S&P 500 and netting only slight losses for the week.

LIVE CATTLE: A light-to-moderate trade developed over the noon hour in parts of the North, with dressed business ranging from $178 to $180, steady to $2 lower than last week's weighted average, basis Nebraska. These negotiations were likely for cattle to be delivered in the second week of July. In the futures market, the August live cattle contract traded nearly the exact same range as last week -- mostly between $102 and $106.35, which may give some credence to the theory that the losses of the past two months may be starting to bottom out. Beef cut-outs were mixed Friday, seen at $219.66 choice (up $0.63) and $195.56 select (down $1.34).

MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady. Monday's activity will be limited to the collection of new showlists. We look for the offering to be steady around $109 live/$180 dressed.

FEEDER CATTLE: The most notable livestock futures trading activity Friday occurred in the August feeder cattle contract, which at one point was up more than $4, ultimately closing the day up $1.05. The sudden feeder cattle bullishness was related to USDA's bearish corn assumptions about several million acres that may or may not have been planted. New-crop corn futures were at one point Friday down 25 cents and ultimately closed down 19 1/2 cents. As second thoughts carried through all the related markets, cattle traders tempered their reactions. CME cash feeder index for 6/27/19: $132.61, up $0.74.

LEAN HOGS: Lean hog futures prices continue to exhibit roughly seasonal behavior, remaining $20 to $30 above the February and March doldrums. However, after this week's Hogs and Pigs report re-emphasized the massively efficient and ever-growing U.S. herd (now pegged at 103.6% of its year-ago size), a continued futures slide on Friday was no surprise. Carcass value closed lower Friday in a continuation of a weeks-long trend. Pork cut-out: $73.84, down $0.35. CME cash lean index for 06/26: $77.26, down $0.65 (DTN Projected lean index for 06/27: $76.05, down $1.21).

MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady to $1 lower. Hog buyers are expected to resume work Monday with decaying bids to reflect the bearish supply scenario.

Elaine Kub can be reached at elaine@masteringthegrainmarkets.com

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Elaine Kub