DTN Livestock Midday: Hog Markets Post Limit Gains

Photo: Soybean Checkoff

Nearby lean hog futures have posted $3 per cwt gains, which has hit the daily trading limit. The focus on the potential for announced talks with China improving the trade situation has sparked widespread buying.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Sharp triple-digit gains have flooded through hog futures through the morning with nearby contracts holding daily trading limits of $3 per cwt gains. This is focusing on the potential support that could develop from news of upcoming China talks. Cattle markets remain mixed in a narrow range with the focus Thursday placed on most other commodity market gains.

Corn markets are lower in light trade activity. September corn futures are 4 cents higher. Stock markets are higher in active trade. The Dow Jones is 394 points higher while Nasdaq is up 61 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Live cattle futures are mixed in a narrow trading range from 15 cents lower to 10 cents higher. The firm gains seen through late morning seem to be losing support as renewed pressure developed midday.

This is likely to keep prices shifting higher and lower in a very narrow trading range as traders seem to focus less on overall outside market moves and potential shifts in cash and boxed beef trade at the end of the week. The overall lack of wide market shifts also is tied to limited volume, which has been seen over the last couple of weeks.

Cash cattle activity remains quiet with bids redeveloping in the same range as earlier in the week. Bids are seen at $108 live and $172 to $173 dressed. Asking prices still well above current bids at $112 and higher live and $178 and higher dressed. Active trade may not be seen until sometime Friday.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are mixed, $0.56 higher (select) and down $0.94 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 65 total loads reported (24 loads of choice cuts, 21 loads of select cuts, 8 loads of trimmings, 11 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Buyer support has moved back into the complex midday Thursday following lackluster interest which kept prices mixed through most of the morning. The strong renewed support in lean hog trade as well as gains in most other commodity markets has helped to bring about increased overall support through the quietly traded cattle complex.

Nearby feeder cattle futures are holding gains of 40 to 50 cents per cwt, while the rest of the complex is steady to 20 cents higher in a very narrow range due to the limited trade activity.

The focus on renewed upcoming talks with China does not have a strong direct connection to the cattle market at this point, but buyers seem to be focusing on the bullish overall tone based on overall association to other commodity markets.

LEAN HOGS:

Sharp gains have flooded the market following interest in most other commodities Thursday. The news of renewed talks with China has helped to refuel a bullish overall market trend as many seeing this as a glimmer of hope that current and proposed tariffs may be avoided in the future if both sides continue to negotiate.

October and December contracts are holding $3 per cwt gains with increased overall support through the complex. This has continued to push nearby and deferred futures further away from long-term support levels which developed last week. Even though deferred contracts remain less aggressive, triple-digit gains are seen in all contract months.

Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.43 at $41.70 per cwt with the range from $40.00 to $42.50 on 4,567 head reported sold.

Cash prices are lower on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.30 at $42.01 per cwt with the range from $42.00 to $42.25 on 1,062 head reported sold.

The National Pork Plant Report posted a total of 135 loads selling with cutout values gaining $0.28 per cwt at $68.77 per cwt in the morning report. Lean hog index for 8/14 is at $55.23 down 1.58 with a projected two-day index of $54.21, down 1.02.

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