DTN Livestock Midday: Renewed Gains Sweep Through Hog Futures

Photo: Soybean Checkoff

Active trade has pushed lean hog futures sharply higher Wednesday morning with nearby and deferred contracts posting uniform triple-digit gains. This is sparking increased momentum through the week.

General Comments

Aggressive renewed buying has flooded through lean hog trade with nearby contract holding $2 per cwt or greater at midday. The continued support could hit daily trading limits, potentially moving to expanded trading limits Thursday.

Corn futures are lower in sluggish trade. May corn futures are 3/4 cent lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 145 points lower with Nasdaq down 25 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Buyer support has continued to ratchet higher through nearby contrasts with April futures now trading above $129 per cwt. The steady buyer support moving into the complex has continued to spark potential optimism surrounding the ability to push prices above $130 per cwt and setting long-term highs not seen in over a year.

A close above $130 per cwt would likely spark additional buyer support, further supporting commercial and noncommercial interest through the entire cattle complex.

Cash cattle interest is still quiet with active trade expected to be pushed off until late in the week. A few asking prices have redeveloped with prices at $130 to $132 per cwt live and $210 dressed.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.96 lower (select) and down $0.71 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 60 total loads reported (35 loads of choice cuts, 13 loads of select cuts, 3 loads of trimmings, 9 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Strong gains have swiftly and aggressively moved into deferred feeder cattle trade. May through November contracts are holding gains of $1.35 to $1.70 per cwt as traders adjust to short-term market highs as follow through commercial buying is moving back into the complex.

The continued support in live cattle trade as nearby contracts focus on strong beef demand and potential additional investment trade entering the market, has added momentum to long-term feeder cattle trade.

LEAN HOGS:

Active buyer support has quickly moved into all contract months with April futures leading the complex higher with a $2.70 per cwt rally.

This move has moved spot month prices to $73.50 per cwt, expanding the rally over $20 per cwt since the middle of February. This could add some additional underlying support through the entire market following expectations of increased pork demand worldwide based on African Swine Flu affecting overall pork supplies.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $1.71 at $59.30 per cwt with the range from $54.00 to $63.00, on 6,078 head reported sold.

Cash prices are higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $1.84 at $60.59 per cwt with the range from $54.00 to $63.00, on 3,238 head reported sold.

Pork have continued to adjust higher, despite mixed price movements in primals midweek. Pork cutouts gained $0.31 per cwt at $74.45 per cwt with 158 loads traded. Lean hog index for 3/18 is $57.54, up $1.00, with a projected two-day index is $59.22, up $1.68.

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