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DTN Livestock Midday: Mixed, Quiet Trade

Ernst Undesser
By Rick Kment DTN Analyst June 16, 2017

DTN Livestock Midday: Mixed, Quiet Trade

Market activity has slowed across the livestock markets as traders focus on position squaring through the end of the week. Mixed market trade is seen in both live cattle and lean hog markets with prices backing away from initial market moves as traders try to not only adjust for longer-term market shifts, but take into account the light volume in the complex Friday morning.

 

 

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Light trade continues to develop through the livestock markets as traders position holdings for the weekend. After aggressive market pressure in live cattle and feeder cattle markets the focus has moved to short covering activity during the Friday session.

This may allow for increased market activity over the next several sessions. Lean hog futures are mixed in light trade with early pressure.

Corn prices are higher in light trade. July corn futures are 3 cents higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 11 points higher while Nasdaq is down 15 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Mixed trade has developed in live cattle futures with traders trying to square positions at the end of the week following a volatile week. June live cattle futures has backed away from early support, with prices now trading 70 cent losses, while most other contracts have been able to hold light 5 to 30 cent gains at midday.

The potential to bring a sense of stability back into the market at the end of the week could bring commercial traders back to the table early next week. But there is still growing concern that long-term liquidation may develop and prices could continue to shift lower through the next month.

Cash markets remain quiet Friday morning with a few bids redeveloping but very little active interest seen at midday. Bids are seen at $127 in the South and $202 in the North. But this is still well below asking prices expected to be at $130 or higher in the South and $210 and higher.

At this point it is uncertain if either side will even continue to step to the table any more this week in order to get business done or if they will just call it a week and come back after the weekend with a fresh perspective, hoping for better luck after more time has passed.

Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.86 lower (select) and up $0.13 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 60 total loads reported (29 loads of choice cuts, 15 loads of select cuts, 10 load of trimmings, 6 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Buyer activity has moved into feeder cattle futures midday Friday, allowing traders to break away from the choppy up and down moves seen over the morning markets, as nearby contracts have posted firm gains nearing $1 per cwt.

This has allowed commercial buyer activity to slowly move back into the market at the end of the week, although it is not changing the overall tone of the market after the strong market liquidation seen in the last several sessions.

Increased market volatility is expected to be seen through the next couple of weeks, which may bring even more price swings to the complex.

LEAN HOGS:

Early pressure has eased across lean hog markets as traders have continued to focus on market stability in the lean hog complex through the Friday session. Trade has quickly backed away from triple-digit losses, but the downward pressure in most contracts continues to hold in most contracts.

This seems to be the focus in all but summer markets, which has been the highlight of the lean hog market over the last several weeks as traders seem to have focused on these markets with the rest of the complex being left in the dust.

With July and August markets now able to scratch out moderate gains, the focus is now based on firm buyer support and could bring additional market support back through the rest of the month.

Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.15 at $83.82 per cwt with the range from $79.00 to $85.00 on 2,855 head reported sold.

Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.22 at $84.50 per cwt with the range from $79.00 to $85.00 on 845 head reported sold.

The National Pork Plant Report reported 84 loads selling with prices gaining $0.65 per cwt. Lean hog index for 6/14 is at $82.93 up $0.83 with a projected two-day index of $84.06 up $1.13.

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Ernst Undesser
By Rick Kment DTN Analyst June 16, 2017