DTN Livestock Midday: Price Positioning Seen in Hog Trade

Photo: United Soybean Board

Light to moderate softness is seen in lean hog trade with increased underlying pressure holding across the entire complex. This may start to limit recent buyer optimism over the next couple of days. Cattle trade has surged higher following early triple-digit gains.

General Comments

Strong triple-digit gains have continued to develop through cattle trade as significant morning buying in feeder cattle trade has sparked increased underlying support through the entire complex. Hog futures have slowly eroded late morning, although the recent market support is still keeping most traders generally bullish.

Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. May corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. Dow Jones is 165 points higher with Nasdaq up 50 points.


Firm gains have quickly moved back into the live cattle complex following lackluster interest that kept prices generally steady most of the morning. April live cattle futures are leading the complex higher with a 90 cent per cwt gain. This upward movement continues to spark commercial interest, but with prices still well entrenched within the current market range, it is likely that prices could hover within these price levels over the near future with very little long term market direction developing.

Cash cattle activity is still quiet with bids undeveloped at this point and may remain unavailable until midweek or later. There have been a few asking prices trickling into the market with cattle priced at $132 live and $210 dressed. Significant trade will likely be seen through the end of the week at this point.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $1.16 higher (select) and up $1.73 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 63 total loads reported (37 loads of choice cuts, 11 loads of select cuts, no loads of trimmings, 15 loads of ground beef).


Triple-digit gains have continued to move back into the complex with April and May feeder cattle trade leading the complex higher. April futures have moved to $147.65 per cwt following continued market support through the entire complex. Underlying concerns of cattle losses due to Midwest flooding is adding to price support, although at this point it is nearly impossible to correctly assess the overall market damage to the cattle herd and the overall beef industry.


Initial buyer support quickly stepped away from the market with June futures leading the complex lower with a $1.10 per cwt loss. This pullback in all nearby contracts has caused traders to slowly step back from recent market gains seen over the last couple of weeks. Even though firm fundamental support is developing through the entire complex, the focus on market correction seems to be the theme through the week.

Cash prices are lower on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price fell $0.46 at $55.80 per cwt with the range from $52.00 to $57.50 on 2,985 head reported sold.

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

Pork carcass values sparked additional underlying support with triple-digit gains seen in all primal cuts. Pork cutouts gained $1.51 per cwt at $73.90 per cwt with 230 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/15 is $56.54, up $1.14, with a projected two-day index is $57.54, up $1.00.

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