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DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Futures Rally

Ernst Undesser
By Rick Kment DTN Analyst October 18, 2017

DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Futures Rally

Sharp losses in cattle trade seen early Wednesday have been replaced by moderate to strong gains at midday. This support comes as fundamental firmness is seen and traders are focusing on establishing support levels following the pressure over the last two sessions. Hog futures remain mostly higher based on fundamental support.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Strong gains have quickly flooded into nearby cattle and hog futures. This has allowed for increased underlying support across the complex, which is replacing sharp triple-digit losses that kept cattle markets under pressure for most of the morning.

Corn prices are lower in light trade. December corn futures are 1 cent per bushel lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 149 points higher while Nasdaq is up 6 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Nearby live cattle futures have bounced back from sharp triple-digit losses as traders have quickly moved into the complex based on a combination of short covering activity as well as mixed beef values allowing traders to try to establish support values through the day Wednesday.

Nearby contracts are 10 to 90 cents per cwt higher although the volume moving into the market remains relatively light. It is uncertain just how much follow-through support will be seen over the coming days, and if traders will be able to keep prices stable through the end of the week.

Cash cattle activity is starting to become more developed with bids seen in all areas through the morning. At this point trade is undeveloped in feedlot markets, although light trade developed on the Fed Cattle Exchange. Bids are seen at $108 to $110 live basis and $173 dressed basis. Firmer bids are seen through the South with bids at $110 per cwt. These bids are still lower than last week’s price levels, but improving from early week offers. Active trade may not be seen until later in the week.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction report today listed a total of 919 head, with 230 actually sold, 386 head listed as unsold, and 303 head listed as PO (Passed Offer). The state by state breakdown looks like this:

  • KS 430 total head, with 230 head sold at $109.00, 105 head unsold, 95 head listed as PO ($109.00);
  • NE 151 total head, with 0 head sold, 151 head unsold, and 0 head listed as PO;
  • TX 338 total head, with 0 head sold, 130 head unsold, and 208 head listed as PO ($109.00);
  • CO no cattle reported;
  • IA no cattle reported;
  • other states no cattle reported.

The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed:

  • 1-9 day delivery: 768 head total, 230 head sold, with a weighted average price of $109.00;
  • 1-17 day delivery 151 head total, no sales;
  • 10-17 day delivery no cattle reported;
  • 17-30 day delivery no cattle reported.

Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.48 lower (select) and up $0.23 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 91 total loads reported (51 loads of choice cuts, 17 loads of select cuts, 7 loads of trimmings, 16 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Cattle futures have rallied from strong market losses seen through the morning. October futures have rallied sharply higher with a 70 cent gains at midday. The rest of the complex is stuck in narrow to moderate mixed range with very little additional outside market shifts likely to develop over the next couple of hours. The strong rally seen midday in live cattle futures has sparked renewed support across feeder cattle trade.

LEAN HOGS:

Lean hog futures remain mixed to mostly higher Wednesday morning as nearby contracts continue to focus on short covering activity developing across the complex. December lean hog futures have posted an 82 cent per cwt with prices moving to $63 per cwt.

The narrow pressure in the deferred contracts has created some lack of underlying support across the market as traders are looking for firm support through the end of the week, but there continues to be pressure in outside markets that is causing some uncertainty across the entire complex.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price higher $0.48 at $60.83 per cwt with the range from $53.00 to $63.50 on 5,937 head reported sold.

Cash prices higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.55 at $61.67 per cwt with the range from $53.00 to $63.50 on 3,277 head reported sold.

The National Pork Plant Report reported 203 loads selling with prices falling $0.84 per cwt. Lean hog index for 10/16 is at $61.00 up $0.76 with a projected two-day index of $62.21, up $1.21.

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Ernst Undesser
By Rick Kment DTN Analyst October 18, 2017