Renewed hopes for a trade deal with China that could include significant U.S. pork exports boosted hog futures Thursday. Cattle markets remained sluggish with most traders watching from afar most of the session.
Lean hog futures quickly and aggressively led the livestock market higher as traders focused on short-covering following early week pressure as well as hopes that exports will improve on a China trade deal. Cattle markets were mixed in limited activity. Cash cattle markets were quiet Thursday with both sides apparently waiting until Friday. This added some additional apprehension, as trade may be delayed until after Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. Bids have remained at $123 live and $198 dressed, still below asking prices of $128 live and $205 to $207 dressed.
The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $1.53 lower ($44-$47.85, weighted average $46.37) on 6,233 head sold.
Corn futures were higher in light activity with the March up 4 cents per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 101 points lower with the Nasdaq down 29 points.