DTN Closing Livestock Comments

Outside Bullishness Affects Livestock Prices

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

GENERAL COMMENTS: From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: August live cattle up $1.48, October live cattle up $1.90, August feeder cattle up $2.78, September feeder cattle up $3.85, July lean hogs down $1.08, August lean hogs up $3.60. Cash cattle business conducted on Friday afternoon took place $2 higher than last week, with most of the volume of dressed sales hitting $182 and a smaller volume at $183 (set for delivery the week of July 22). Firm asking prices around $113 (live) have led to a Friday afternoon standoff in the South. The closing summary showed the national hog base at $0.16 higher ($56-$71, weighted average $67.99). September corn futures closed 10 cents higher Friday and 15 1/2 cents higher for the week. Soybean meal similarly gained $2.50 Friday and $9 through the week. The stock market (S&P 500) had a bullish, record-setting week and closed at a fresh record high: 3,013 points.

LIVE CATTLE: Bullish outside markets helped to support gains of $0.45 to $0.60 in 2019 live cattle futures contracts Friday. Although it will take some time for the evidence to actually appear in wholesale beef prices, the general thinking is that U.S. consumers made wealthy by a surging stock market will feel eager to grill steaks and buy restaurant meals. Time will tell. For now, there is a favorable environment for packer margins, and Saturday's slaughter is estimated at 61,000 head, which would bring the weekly total to 655,000 head. That's 82,000 more than the previous week and 5,000 more than in 2018 at this time of year. Beef cut-outs were lower Friday on light-to-moderate demand and moderate offerings (109 total loads of cuts, trimmings, and grinds), seen at $212.80 choice (down $0.97) and $189.60 select (down $1.19).

MONDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL: Steady to $1 higher. Monday activities are typically limited to the collection of new showlists. Sellers may be emboldened to offer at prices above this week's $113 live/$182 dressed.

FEEDER CATTLE: Feeder cattle futures were the one segment of the livestock market to post losses on Friday, with the nearby August contract dropping more than $1, and the deferred October contract dropping $0.575. The double-digit surge in corn prices likely didn't help matters, but there may also be a sense that this market's recent upswing has piled on a little too far too fast. CME cash feeder index for 7/11/19: $141.06, up $1.47.

LEAN HOGS: Daily hog slaughter numbers (465,000 head Friday) continue to demonstrate the country's record-large supply, yet lean hog futures were able to sustain their recovery this week, most notably in the August contract, which gained $1.475 Friday. Pork cut-out: $71.65, down $0.52 mostly due to lower loin prices and another volatile lower movement in bellies (down $6.14 to $96.22). CME cash lean index for 07/10: $70.65, down $0.12 (DTN Projected lean index for 07/11: $70.73, up $0.08).

MONDAY'S CASH HOG CALL: Steady. Hog buyers are expected to resume work Monday still jumpy about the uncertain summer demand scenario.

Elaine Kub can be reached at elaine@masteringthegrainmarkets.com


Elaine Kub