DTN Livestock Midday: Feeder Cattle Selling Continues

Sharp losses have quickly developed across feeder cattle futures Tuesday morning. This pressure is causing all cattle markets to adjust lower through morning trade. Early support in hog trade has eroded through morning trade.

General Comments

Livestock futures are mixed in limited early-week trade. Traders seem to have little concern with a shortened trading week as strong triple-digit losses in feeder cattle futures is eroding previous support seen late last week. Hog futures remain mixed in limited direction, although most contracts are holding narrow gains.

Corn markets are lower in light trade. March corn futures are 2 1/4 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 283 points lower with Nasdaq down 103 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Sluggish activity has developed through most of the morning as traders try to slowly get back into the routine following the three day weekend. Firm pressure is starting to develop in lightly traded spot month contracts, while moderate softness has developed through the rest of the market in connection with strong triple-digit losses across feeder cattle trade.

Traders remain concerned about long-term summer and fall beef demand, which is starting to be seen in futures trade as well as feeder cattle market activity.

Cash markets remain quiet with bids and asking prices still hard to find. It is expected that bids will not be active until midweek or later, with trade pushed off until later in the week once again.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.15 higher (select) and up $0.59 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 45 total loads reported (22 loads of choice cuts, 17 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 5 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Sharp losses have quickly moved into feeder cattle trade Tuesday morning as any stability seen late last week seems to have been thrown out the window as traders focus on longer-term concerns of higher production costs and questions of beef demand growth.

Even though live cattle futures are holding well in nearby trade over the past couple of weeks, the discount seen in late summer and early fall contracts is adding even more concern to feeder cattle prices.

LEAN HOGS:

Despite a firm early start Tuesday morning in lean hog futures prices, traders have slowly backed away from session highs with very limited direction developing across the entire lean hog market. April and May contracts still remain under light to moderate pressure with April futures holding a 60 cent loss.

The rest of the complex is maintaining firm buyer support with traders looking for increased trade volume through the rest of the complex. The overall sluggish market direction and pressure in cattle trade is likely to limit any buyer activity through the rest of the session. But traders seem focused on slowly bringing support back to the complex following recent losses.

Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is down $0.15 at $52.20 per cwt with the range from $50.00 to $53.00 on 4,736 head reported sold.

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

Pork carcass values are higher on the morning report with prices adding $0.74 per cwt at $71.57 per cwt with 180 loads traded. Lean hog index for 1/18 is $58.07, down 0.09, with a projected two-day index is unavailable at this time.

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