DTN Livestock Midday: Sluggish Gains as Traders Look for Support

Light trade is seen through the entire livestock complex with traders looking for additional underlying support. The narrow trading ranges seen at midday are likely to hold through the end of the session.


Light buyer support is has slowly and steadily moved through the complex early Tuesday morning. This is helping to offset the early-week pressure as traders move further away from report-related supply issues and more focused on outside market direction and fundamental day to day market shifts. Limited price movement is expected in most contracts through the rest of the session.

Corn markets are lower in light trade. September corn futures are 1 cent lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 28 points higher while Nasdaq is up 7 points.


Limited interest is seen in live cattle futures early Tuesday. October live cattle futures continue to hold a narrow market gain with prices at $112.25 per cwt. The pull back to near $112.00 per cwt has caused some concern through the complex.

If further pressure develops, and traders move prices sub-$112 per cwt through the week, increased questions of sustaining market support will quickly swarm through the market. All live cattle futures are holding limited gains of 2 to 22 cents per cwt in very limited trade.

Cash cattle activity is quiet Tuesday morning with asking prices still not established in any area. A few token starter bids have been floated in Nebraska at $172 live basis. This may bring some additional activity through the next couple of days, but active trade is expected to be delayed until the latter half of the week. Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.45 higher (select) and up $0.38 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 78 total loads reported (33 loads of choice cuts, 19 loads of select cuts, 22 loads of trimmings, 4 loads of ground beef).


Feeder cattle futures have slowly but steadily gained momentum with prices hovering 35 to 70 cents per cwt higher following lackluster interest early in the session. Traders are looking for additional buyer support through the entire complex, although the most aggressive support is seen in November and January futures with traders looking for longer-term support to develop through the market as traders seem to be focused on short term events over the recent days.

The lack of market premium in the complex continues to be seen with all contracts through January 2019 trading within a $2 per cwt trading range. This indicates that limited market direction changes are expected through the end of the year.


Strong gains have continued to develop in nearby lean hog futures with October futures holding a $1.37 per cwt rally at midday. The rest of the complex remains extremely sluggish with prices hovering in a narrow range from 7 cents lower to 22 cents higher. The overall lack of direction in most contract months is causing some underlying concern about the ability to spark renewed support through the end of September.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $1.71 higher at $62.31 per cwt with the range from $54.00 to $64.00 on 7,366 head reported sold.

Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is $1.78 higher at $63.36 per cwt with the range from $54.00 to $64.00 on 4,639 head reported sold.

The National Pork Plant Report posted 160 loads selling on the morning report. Pork carcass values added $0.05 per cwt at $80.07 per cwt. Lean hog index for 9/21 is at $60.85 up 1.76 with a projected two-day index of 62.05, up 1.20.

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