DTN Livestock Midday: Hog Markets Surge Higher

Nearby buyer support is helping to push hog prices higher Wednesday morning. The lean hog complex is leading livetock prices higher with $2 per cwt gains in a few nearby contract. Buyer activity continues to be seen in cattle trade, although the overall support is sluggish compared to the hog market.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Strong triple-digit gains seen in nearby lean hog futures trade is leading additional buyer support back to the market. There is growing support that can help to draw buyer activity to the table as traders focus on technical support as well as advancing cash market values.

Corn prices are higher in light trade. May corn futures are 1 cent higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 32 points lower while Nasdaq is up 25 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Light to moderate gains are able to hold in nearby live cattle futures through most of the morning. The lack of activity in the complex is keeping prices in a tightly grouped pattern over the last few hours of trade with very limited additional direction expected before the end of the trading day.

April futures are leading the market higher with prices 62 cents per cwt higher. But the rest of the complex is tightly grouped between 15 and 30 cent gains at midday.

Cash cattle markets are still sluggish in feedlot country Wednesday morning, although a few bids have developed during the morning. Packer bids in the south are seen at $116 per cwt, while $190 per cwt bids are holding in the North. At this point asking prices seem to be around $122 and higher per cwt live and $192 and higher dressed.

The Fed Cattle Exchange Auction today listed a total of 3,220 head, with 499 actually sold, 2,721 head listed as unsold, and 0 head listed as PO (Passed Offer). The state by state breakdown looks like this:

  • KS 171 total head, with 0 head sold, 171 head unsold, 0 head listed as PO;
  • NE 3,049 total head, with 499 head sold at $120.00-$122.00, 2,550 head unsold, and 0 head listed as PO;
  • TX – no cattle reported;
  • CO – no cattle reported;
  • IA – no cattle reported;
  • other states (OK, SD, MN) – no cattle reported.

The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed:

  • 1-9 day delivery: 2,882 head total, 161 head sold, with a weighted average price of $122.00;
  • 1-17 day delivery 338 head total, 338 head sold, with a weighted average price of $120.00;
  • 10-17 – no cattle reported;
  • 17-30 day delivery -no cattle reported.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.53 lower (select) and up $0.54 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 90 total loads reported (54 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 17 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Mixed trade is seen through feeder cattle trade with buyers looking for increased underlying support from the light to moderate gains now holding in live cattle futures.

April futures have had a hard time finding additional buyer support with prices 35 cents per cwt lower while the remainder of contracts are 20 to 50 cents higher. There is growing underlying support that may bring buyers back to the table through the next couple of days, but traders remain cautious.

LEAN HOGS:

Strong morning support has quickly moved into the market with prices holding gains nearing $2 per cwt with front month April contracts leading the complex higher. Prices are seen from $1.50 to $2.00 per cwt in nearby contracts following firm support in both cash and pork values.

This may help to add even more underlying support to the entire hog complex as traders focus on a market that has over $7 per cwt during the month of April. The ability to sustain strong buyer activity continues to drive additional long term support back into the market.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up 1.12 at $53.39 per cwt with the range from $46.00 to $55.00 on 5,318 head reported sold.

Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up 2.06 at $54.87 per cwt with the range from $46.00 to $55.00 on 1,692 head reported sold.

The National Pork Plant Report posted 180 loads selling with carcass values gaining $1.35 per cwt. Lean hog index for 4/16 is at $54.02 up 0.49 with a projected two-day index of $55.05, up 1.03.

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