Limited early-morning activity is expected Thursday, allowing mixed market shifts to develop in cattle and hog futures. Despite continued underlying support in all trade, the depth of buyer interest moving into the complex is becoming more uncertain.
Cattle: Steady to $1 Higher Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $137.71 -0.34*
Hogs: Steady to $1 Lower Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $ 76.42 -2.17**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Packer interest is expected to improve Thursday morning, although it is uncertain that bids will improve early in the day. There still remains a wide range between asking prices and midweek bids, and this may continue, leaving the uncertainty that trade will develop until sometime Friday. The firmness in cattle futures is likely to spark renewed resolve by feedlot managers as they hold tight to asking prices of $114 live and $184 dressed through Thursday.
Futures trade is expected to open mixed following the light-to-moderate midweek correction. The overall tone of the market remains firm, which is likely to spark renewed overall interest through the end of the week. Continued pressure in beef values and overall concerns about short- and long-term export demand for beef continues to add uneasiness through the entire complex, but traders are focused on technical support building in feeder cattle and live cattle trade, which may break out of the weaker trend seen through most of the spring.