Wide market swings over the last few days in cattle and hog futures may continue Friday as traders try to adjust positions ahead of the weekend.
Cattle: Mixed Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $143.78 -0.54*
Hogs: Steady to $1 Lower Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $ 88.02 +0.50**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Cash cattle trade should be seen Friday; limited activity developed in most areas late Thursday. Cash trade posted a wide range of $110 to $112 live and $183 to $185 dressed. This is $1 to $2 per cwt lower than last week’s live basis and steady to $1 per cwt higher on a dressed basis. The trade totals reported over the last two days are enough for packers to fuel current procurement needs, leaving additional trade expected before the weekend. Packer interest should redevelop in the same price ranges as Thursday, although feeders may not be as aggressive on asking prices as the day continues.
Asking prices are $115 live and $188 dressed early Friday but may change, following futures direction later in the day. Cattle futures are expected mixed with a weaker undertone across the entire complex. This may spark some additional pressure early. August feeder cattle futures have fallen $3.50 per cwt since Monday, creating potential end-of-week short-covering opportunities despite the continued concern of higher feed costs.
Live cattle futures remain stuck within the $4 per cwt trading range seen over the last month with little indication traders are willing to break out of this pattern even with growing pressure in feeder cattle trade and struggling beef values.