The cattle complex settled mostly higher, supported by follow-through buying and feedlot cash premiums. On the other hand, lean hog issues closed narrowly mixed at the conclusion of a lackluster round of business.
Midday: Triple-digit gains developed through the feeder cattle complex Monday morning, allowing for additional widespread support to develop in live cattle and lean hog futures as uniform buyer interest is becoming more evident.
Livestock futures have quickly offset early uneasiness with moderate to active buyer support moving through the complex. Feeder cattle futures are leading the complex higher with April futures holding gains near $2 per cwt at midday. Additional buyer interest is expected to develop in nearby live cattle and lean hog futures, but traders remain cautious when moving into the market Monday morning.
Corn prices are lower in light trade. May corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 26 points higher while Nasdaq is up 6 points.
Mixed trade is still seen across live cattle futures, although gains in most contracts are expanding. April futures remain steady to 10 cents lower at midday while firm buyer support is steadily gaining momentum. June through February futures are holding 40- to 55-cent gains as traders look for additional late-day momentum to develop within the next hour.
Cash activity is undeveloped with traders focusing on show list distribution. Generally, showlists are mixed to mostly larger, although most Southern areas have seen the most aggressive increases early in the week.
Beef cut-outs at midday are lower $0.39 lower (select) and down $0.33 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 45 total loads reported (21 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, 5 loads of trimmings, 8 loads of ground beef).
It took a couple hours Monday morning to draw uniform buyer support back into the market. But once trader support has become established, triple-digit gains are seen in April through August contracts. This may bring additional support back to the entire cattle complex through the next couple hours.
The initial mixed price moves through the complex have slowly moved back to light-to-moderate gains at midday. April futures have just moved to the positive side of the complex with a 10-cent gain after moderate pressure early in the day. The rest of summer and fall contracts are holding 30- to 45-cent gains as buyers are slowly moving back into the market following the triple-digit losses late last week.
Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.57 at $64.87 per cwt with the range from $60.00 to $67.00 on 4,107 head reported sold.
Cash prices are lower on the Iowa Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.02 at $66.05 per cwt with the range from $61.00 to $67.00 on 1,130 head reported sold.
The National Pork Plant Report reported 128 loads selling with prices falling $0.39 per cwt. Lean hog index for 3/16 is at $71.74 down $0.10 with a projected two-day index of $71.61 down $0.13.