Cattle futures closed higher, but could not hold a candle to the strength of hogs. The only contract of cattle posting triple-digits gains was June live cattle. Front-month feeders closed $0.45 lower and are staying closer to cash. Hogs got a boost as China stepped up to purchase pork.
Cattle: Steady to $1 Lower Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $150.26 -0.32*
Hogs: Steady to $1 Higher Futures: Higher Lean Equiv: $ 72.34 +0.95**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Cattle trade was basically non-existent Thursday. Feedlots were struggling to take care of animals either due to flooding or blinding snow storms. Trade should commence Friday as business needs to be done. However, the stage was set earlier this week with light trade a $1 lower than last week at $127 live and $204 dressed.
Deferred live cattle futures made a valiant attempt at regaining losses, but could not get back up to the contract highs. Feeder cattle were nowhere near a recovery with futures posting a lower high for the fourth consecutive day on the charts.
Bullish traders will need to regain control or futures will trend lower. Lower cash may temper buying interest, keeping futures on the defensive.