DTN Livestock Midday: Limited Activity Develops Ahead of Long Weekend

Livestock futures are trading within a narrowly mixed price range as very limited activity is seen in the complex. Many traders have already checked out for the week as markets will not reopen next week until Tuesday.


Market activity has been increasingly sluggish Friday with very limited trade activity seen in the complex. The May 1 cattle on feed report posted total cattle on feed at 105% and total placement in the month of April at 92% compared to the previous year.

Corn prices are higher in light trade. July corn futures are 1 cent higher. Stock markets are mixed in light trade. The Dow Jones is 81 points lower while Nasdaq is up 15 points.


Live cattle futures have eroded at midday following the release of the cattle on feed report. Total cattle on feed is listed at 105% of previous year levels at the end of April. Marketing levels are seen at 106%.

There continues to be some market pressure developing in the complex, although the lack of activity in the market is keeping any price shifts narrow. Trade is expected to remain generally undeveloped as traders have already been looking into next week following the holiday weekend.

Cash cattle trade still remains undeveloped although bids are steadily improving through the morning. Live bids are seen at $108 to $110 per cwt with the top end of the range seen in the South.

Dressed bids are seen at $175 per cwt. These bids are still below asking prices of $115 and higher live basis and $177 to $180 dressed. Trade could be delayed until late in the day, although the desire to finish early Friday could spark some early afternoon activity.

Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.04 lower (select) and down $1.59 per cwt (choice) with moderate movement of 76 total loads reported (38 loads of choice cuts, 18 loads of select cuts, 12 loads of trimmings, 8 loads of ground beef).


Despite the light trade activity seen across the complex Friday the early release of the cattle on feed report posted overall cattle placements set at 92% of 2017 levels. This is not expected to draw additional support back into the complex over the near future. Trade remains mixed with price 45 cents lower to 30 cents higher through the end of the week.


Mixed trade continues to be seen across the complex Friday with front month June futures still holding moderate losses in limited trade activity. The rest of the complex is steady to 50 cents higher, although overall limited trade activity through the morning has kept the market direction very limited.

Additional support may continue to move into the market through the last couple hours of trade. But overall buyer support may be sluggish due to the long holiday weekend.

Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the National Direct morning cash hog report.

Cash prices are unreported due to confidentiality on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report.

The National Pork Plant Report posted 190 loads selling with carcass values adding $0.78 per cwt. Lean hog index for 5/22 is at $69.03 up 0.34 with a projected two-day index of $69.29, up 0.26.

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