The cattle complex should open on a mixed basis thanks to profit-taking and positioning ahead of the April 1 Cattle on Feed report. Lean hog futures are also likely to open with uneven prices tied to follow-through selling and pre-weekend short-covering.
Cattle: Firm w/Wed Futures: Mixed Live Equiv $144.95 + .65*
Hogs: Steady-$1 LR Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv $ 79.94 – .20 **
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
While some clean-up activity in cattle feeding country is certainly possible Friday, our guess is that cash business is essentially done for the week. Furthermore, many closeouts show per head profits of $350 or better. What’s not to like? The April 1 Cattle on feed report will be released Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. CDT.
Average guesses call for March placement to be 7% to 8% larger, and March marketing to be 9% to 10% greater. Total on feed is expected to come in virtually unchanged from 2016. Live and feeder futures seem staged for a mixed opening thanks to profit-taking and pre-report positioning.