Wide market shifts in lean hog trade stole the spotlight Friday morning as buyers quickly and aggressively moved into nearby contracts. Firming cash values through the week and potential underlying fundamental support is helping to spark longer-term support. Cattle trade broke away from mixed early trade with light to moderate support holding. Corn futures are higher in light trade. September corn futures are 6 cents higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 55 points higher with NASDAQ up 2 points.
Moderate buying support moved into deferred contracts as traders posted 60 to 70 cent gains in 2020 contract months. Traders seem to expect neutral to slightly bullish numbers coming out of the cattle on feed and cattle inventory report. Although traditionally the July cattle inventory report tends to not affects markets significantly, the expectation that this report will show a pullback in breeding herd numbers is creating price support in deferred futures trade. This would indicate a change in long-term beef supplies over the next couple of years. Cattle on feed numbers are expected to remain nearly 2% above year-ago levels, with limited market impact expected at this point. Cash cattle markets are untraded Friday morning, leaving most to feel that needed cattle have already been bought for the week. A surprise in cattle on feed report numbers could bring about additional late-afternoon trade, but the tone is likely set for the week. Live bids of $111 in the South and $113 in the North remain on the table late morning. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.63 higher (select) and up $0.08 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 61 total loads reported (30 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 20 loads of ground beef).
Limited but firm support is developing in feeder cattle trade. The strong push higher in corn trade is being overlooked at this point, as moderate gains of 55 to 85 cents per cwt are holding at midday. Given the weekend break ahead and potential that hot weather may hold through part of the weekend, there is starting to be some support based on weather conditions and the potential impact on cattle production. Although at this point, weather related buying is likely to be minimal, the ability to firm prices ahead of the weekend break is cautionary in nature. Traders also look for a reduction in cattle placed in feedyards during June. This is sparking some additional pre-report buying.
Active gains have swiftly moved through nearby lean hog trade Friday morning. October futures continue to led the complex with a $2 rally late morning as with prices breaking through short-term resistance levels of $77.45 set one month ago. The ability to hold above these prices levels at the end of the week is expected to spark renewed underlying support early next week, as technical support continues to develop. Firming fundamentals continue to develop late in the week, solidifying overall support through the complex. Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.22 at $71.91 per cwt with the range from $60 to $77.50 on 4,750 head reported sold. Pork values bounced higher with firm support in most primals. Pork cutouts gained $0.78 per cwt at $77.38 per cwt with 153 loads traded. Lean hog index for 7/17 is $71.52, up 0.73, with a projected two-day index is $72.40, up 0.88.
Rick Kment can be reached at email@example.com
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