DTN Livestock Midday: Mixed Prices Keep Volume Light

Light activity is seen in all markets with traders focusing on potential renewed activity early next week. Prices are mixed with very limited direction seen Friday morning.

General Comments

Narrowly mixed trade is seen Friday with most traders taking a step back and observing following a wild market shift through the holiday-shortened week. Live cattle and hog futures are mixed in a narrow range as traders continue to focus on very limited market direction over the weekend.

Corn futures are higher in sluggish trade. March corn futures are 3/4 cent higher. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 170 points higher with Nasdaq up 54 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

With the exception of February live cattle, which are in delivery and soon to expire, limited activity is seen through the entire live cattle complex. Prices are mixed in a narrow range after the early week volatility is allowing for some end of the week positioning by those traders who have stuck around.

This could leave markets quiet through the end of the complex, although traders will be watching the cold storage report and cattle on feed reports for direction of markets next week.

Cash markets are still untraded midday Friday but dressed bids are starting to improve. Live bids are holding at $123 per cwt, while dressed bids have moved to $203 in Nebraska per cwt. Asking prices are at $128 and higher live and $205 to $207 dressed. Trade may not be seen until around the time or after cattle on feed report is released.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.78 higher (select) and up $1.32 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 45 total loads reported (21 loads of choice cuts, 5 loads of select cuts, 7 loads of trimmings, 11 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Narrow trading ranges are indicating a quiet trading session in feeder cattle markets with very limited direction seen in both grain and cattle markets through the end of the week. Most contracts are holding single-digit market shifts with traders trying to assess longer term direction and the potential for future moves in beef values.

LEAN HOGS:

Sluggish trade is seen through the entire hog complex Friday morning with mixed prices leaving markets generally quiet. April futures are holding a 35 cent loss, moving to $56.60 per cwt, while all other contracts are stuck in a mixed range from 20 cents lower to 35 cents higher.

Limited trade is expected to be seen over the rest of the trading session with uncertain market direction moving back into the complex next week.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.90 at $47.24 per cwt with the range from $44.00 to $47.85 on 5,906 head reported sold.

Cash prices higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.46 at $46.48 per cwt with the range from $45.00 to $46.75 on 1,416 head reported sold.

Pork carcass values slipped late in the week, with prices falling $0.02 per cwt at $61.21 per cwt with 210 loads traded. Lean hog index for 2/20 is $54.06, down $0.07, with a projected two-day index is $53.65, down $0.41.

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