DTN Livestock Midday: Lean Hogs Struggle with Triple-Digit Losses

Photo: United Soybean Board

Hog futures are sharply lower near the top of the noon hour, pressured by long liquidation and commercial selling. At the same time, the cattle complex is narrowly mixed in the live trade and moderately lower in the feeder market.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Feedlot country is as quiet as a church library. It looks like the cash trade is done for the week. According to the noon report, the national hog base is not reportable due to rules of confidentiality.

Corn futures near midday are sharply higher with July and September up by 7 cents plus. Some of the corn support could be tied to the rumors about possible trade deals with China that include the elimination of anti-dumping fees imposed on U.S. grain sorghum. The stock market at midday is mixed with the Dow up 11 points and the Nasdaq down by 12.

LIVE CATTLE:

The action here near midday is very slow with neither side showing much energy. Prices are narrowly mixed, up 2 to off 17. Traders are wondering if board discounts are finally adequate, but suggestions that discounts are overdone vis–vis early summer vulnerability are still looking for a champion.

Beef cut-outs are mixed at midday, up 0.42 (select, $208.66) to off 0.06 (choice, $232.62) with light to moderate box movement (41 loads of choice cuts, 16 loads of select cuts, 11 loads of trimmings, 10 loads of coarse grinds).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Feeder issues are moderately lower at midday, off 37 to 90. Besides the discount of deferred live contracts, would be defenders of this market are further bothered today but new highs in the corn market.

LEAN HOGS:

Lean hog futures are sharply lower as we move into the final hour of the trading week (i.e., off 92 to 195). Commercial sellers are pressing premiums, worried that appreciating pork demand cannot be sustained enough through the second quarter to justify current board price levels. Curiously, while rumors of better U.S./China relations are helping the grain trade, they are falling on deaf ears here.

Carcass value is quoted sharply lower at midday, pressured by softer demand for all primals. Pork cut-out: $73.83, off $1.67. CME cash lean index for 05/16: 67.01, up 0.87 (DTN Projected lean index for 05/17: 67.74, up 0.73).

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