DTN Livestock Close: Lean Hogs Crash Hard

Triple-digit losses rocked lean hog futures as more and more would-be bulls throw in the towel. On the other hand, the cattle complex settled on a mixed basis with live issues moving higher and feeder contracts retreating.


For the most part, cattle futures are holding well in the green near the top of the noon hour, supported by higher cash sales booked on Wednesday and follow-through buying. Lean hog contracts seem to be imploding with triple digit losses tied to technical selling and challenging fundamentals.


Cash activity in cattle country is very quiet following Wednesday’s big trade. Both bids and asking prices are poorly defined. Given decent trade volume totals generated yesterday in most areas, it’s possible that nusiness is done for the week.

According to the midday report, the national hog base is .29 lower compared with the Prior Day settlement ($52.00-55.50, weighted average $53.98). Corn futures are generally 3 cents lower moving toward the top of the noon hour, pressured by a lack of buying interest. Equities are higher at midday with the Dow up 181 points and the Nasdaq positive by 55.


Prices here range from 145 higher to 10 lower.

Front-end live contracts are higher near midday, but deferreds are now trading slightly underwater. Spot April is obviously duty bound to keep up with cash gains as it eyes expiration at the end of the month.

Beef cut-outs are higher at midday, up .20 (choice, $215.37) to $1.58 (select, $203.58) with light box movement (25 loads of choice cuts, 25 loads of select cuts, 5 loads of trimmings, 12 loads of coarse grinds).


Triple-digit gains dominated the feed market through midsession. But near midday it would appear that the board has run out of gas. At this time, prices are no better than mixed, up 40 to off 52. Feeders may need to momentarily pause until the cash index can catch up a little.


Lean futures are sharply lower as we move into the final hour of business. Whiles losses seemed to be limited in the early going (probably helped in part by runaway cattle futures), sellers have become more serious as the day matures. Losses are substantial at this point wit prices off 27 to 190. Aggressive selling interest is tried to technical bearish and uninspiring fundamentals.

Carcass value at midday is moderately higher, primarily jacked by a $4.25 recovery in the belly primal. Pork cut-out: $75.34, up .55. CME cash lean index for 04/18: 61.89, off .23 (DTN Projected lean index for 04/19: 61.59, off .30).

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