DTN Livestock Midday: Gains Seen Following Optimistic Trade Talk

Photo: Soybean Checkoff

There have been strong gains early Thursday morning in the lean hog market as China sparks interest in pork and soybean products. If trade conversation continues with China, the hog rally could see significant gains.

General Comments

Wednesday’s energy in the cattle market jumped ship Thursday, as live cattle markets are all lower through December 2020, and though the feeder cattle market is stable for September and October, its positivity ends there.

September corn futures are up 1 1/4 cent and December corn is up 2 3/4 cents. The Dow Jones is up 113 points, and the NADSAQ is up 50 points.


Wednesday’s positive momentum seems to have left the cattle contracts and latched onto the lean hog contract. Thursday’s live cattle opened at $99.025 and have since shifted down to $97.900. Nevertheless, the market has still made a respectable move away from the somewhat established low of $93.750 on Tuesday. How cash cattle trades this week will largely influence the demeanor of next week’s board.

Cash trade has yet to really develop, and with packers not in dire need of cattle due to the supply they already have (coupled with slimming box-beef margins), cash trade could be a battle this week. Very light cash trade of $99 has happened in parts of Texas as of midday Thursday. Live cash bids of $97 to $98 remain in Kansas, and dressed cattle were bid at $157 to $159 in Nebraska.

Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are mixed with $0.05 lower for choice $219.84 and $0.22 higher for select $198.62. Thursday has offered slightly more movement than Wednesday’s boxed beef movement, with 78 loads total (35 loads of choice cuts, 17 loads of select cuts, seven loads of trimmings and 19 loads of ground beef).


Thursday’s feeder cattle contracts followed the live cattle markets. Nearby contracts of September and October remain green, where as the out-front markets have slight losses. September’s feeder cattle market opened at $136.500 and has since then moved to $136.575. Volatility currently surrounds the entire cattle market.


Thankfully the lean hog market picked up some drive Thursday morning. With plenty of market-ready hogs available, China’s interest came at a pivotal point in the week. Though conversation has only been had, if this direction continues, the pork industry could be in for a nice price bump.

Thursday opened strong with limit-up movement locking the board at $63.175. Nearby and far-out contracts all followed the limit up suit except for May 2020 and February 2021.

Prices are slightly lower on the National Direct morning hog report, down $1.02 at $46.28, ranging from $44.00 to $47.50, on 5,238 head sold. Pork cutout values have dropped $1.87 to $70.58. The projected lean hog index for 9/11/19 is at $60.69 down just $1.16, and the actual for 9/10/19 came in at $61.85, down $1.14. Pork cut out loads came out to 225 loads, 14 loads of trim, totaling 239 loads altogether.

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