DTN Livestock Midday: Late-Morning Buying Develops in Hog Trade

Photo: United Soybean Board

Triple-digit pressure eroded Thursday morning, allowing for increased buyer support to redevelop across lean hog futures. Cattle trade remains lower as limited softness is seen in most contracts.

General Comments

Triple-digit losses in nearby lean hog futures developed early Thursday, but active losses quickly eroded, sparking increased buyer activity in most contracts.

Corn futures are lower in light trade. September corn futures are 7 cents lower. Stock markets are lower in light trade. Dow Jones is 83 points lower with NASDAQ down 27 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

Live cattle futures have shifts in a narrow range in either direction through the morning. This is limiting overall trade volume Thursday morning with very limited long-term direction seen late in the week. Even though firm underlying support is still holding across the complex, the lack of consistency through the market may add to price variability over the upcoming days and weeks.

Cash cattle markets remain quiet Thursday with a few bids restated in the North. Live bids of $113 are developing with dressed bids of $182. At this point, asking prices are not budging from $114 live and $186 dressed, which may delay any additional activity until Friday. Additional cash trade could be pushed off until after the cattle reports Friday afternoon.

Boxed Beef cut-outs at midday are higher, $0.48 higher (select) and up $0.62 per cwt (choice) with light movement of 66 total loads reported (27 loads of choice cuts, 12 loads of select cuts, 9 loads of trimmings, 17 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Early gains have been offset by light to moderate pressure seen through the entire feeder cattle complex midday. Traders are starting to focus on adjustments ahead of the cattle on feed report released late Friday afternoon. This will likely have the greatest impact of the two reports, although at this point there is uncertainty of direction. Even though estimated cattle placements are lower, the wide range of estimates may diminish the confidence that traders put in these estimates before the report is released.

LEAN HOGS:

Wide market shifts developed Thursday morning as traders try to bring stability back into the complex midday following aggressive market swings over the last two session. Triple-digit losses developed through most of the morning, although renewed focus on firm cash market support and potential demand strength is offsetting early losses, moving prices in mixed activity late morning.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price is up $0.62 at $72.15 per cwt with the range from $58 to $76 on 11,567 head reported sold.

Pork values surged higher following an $18.64 per cwt rally in belly cuts. Pork cutouts gained $1.89 per cwt at $78.37 per cwt with 166 loads traded. Lean hog index for 7/16 is $70.79, up 0.17, with a projected two-day index is $71.52, up 0.73.

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