DTN Livestock Midday: Limited Market Activity

Limited market activity is seen through the complex with limited price pressure redeveloping in the cattle complex. Hog markets have posted firm gains through early morning trade Friday.

General Comments

Follow-through pressure in live cattle futures complex although light buyer support is attempting to step back into the complex. Light volume is seen through the complex with traders focusing on end of the week positioning in front of the long holiday weekend as markets will remain closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Corn markets are lower in light early trade. Stock markets are higher. Dow Jones is 123 points higher with Nasdaq up 20 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Open: Steady to $1 lower. Light pressure is slowly moving into the live cattle complex with nearby contracts holding a loss of 62 cents per cwt. There is growing stability seen through deferred contracts as traders look for increased market direction while trying to bring stability to the complex.

Cash cattle activity has entered the home stretch with bids unavailable so far Friday morning. Asking prices remain near $128 and higher live and $200 dressed. Packer interest will improve through the day, but it could be late in the day before most of the business is done. Open interest Thursday gained 266 positions (388,817).

Spot month February contracts slipped 1,256 positions (65,876) and April contracts added 502 positions (151,166). DTN projected slaughter for Friday is 118,000 head.

FEEDER CATTLE:

Open: Steady to 50 cents lower. Limited pressure is redeveloping through the complex with nearby contracts holding steady prices in front month January contracts, while March and April contracts are holding 40-cent losses.

There is increased pressure likely to be seen through the morning, although price stability is expected to be the focus through the end of the session. Cash index for 1/16 is listed at $143.09 down $1.10. Open interest Thursday gained 345 positions (50,755).

LEAN HOGS:

Open: Steady to $0.50 higher. Firm early morning buying has moved into lean hog futures trade as traders focus on squaring positions at the end of the week. With markets closed Monday, traders are trying to adjust for the long holiday weekend. This may spark some additional market support through the next couple of hours.

Cash hog trade is $1 lower to 50 cents higher. Most bids are steady. Open interest added 1,149 positions (205,781). February fell 2,484 positions (33,766) and April added 3,260 positions (79,598).

Cash lean index for 1/16 is $58.18 up 0.16. DTN projected slaughter for Friday is 460,000 head. Saturday runs are expected to be 150,000 head.

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