DTN Livestock Midday: Moderate Gains Continue

Photo: NCRS

The lean hog contract continues to press on with limit locked gains for both the December and February contracts. Cattle contracts trade mixed with most of the excitement still being focused on the lean hog contract.

General Comments

It’s clear that most of the market’s attention lies on the lean hog contract as live cattle, feeder cattle and corn contracts bounce around unsteadily and look for a shifting indicator. For live cattle, cash trade could easily be that indicator on Friday afternoon.

September corn futures are up 4 cents, and December corn futures are trading 1/4 cent lower. The Dow Jones is up 43.94 points, and the NASDAQ is down 7.96 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

The idea that an established bottom is in has more and more cattlemen believing its truth as a solid V-shaped chart takes places with Tuesday’s low and Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s gains. The October live cattle board opened Friday morning at $98.975 and has since then shifted to $98.775. Deferred live cattle contracts have bounced around midday Friday and indicate that a determined direction in the 2020 contract months is yet to really be established.

Cash bids of $99 to $100 remain in Kansas and Nebraska and dressed price bids of $159 to$160 in Nebraska and $160 in Iowa. Overall live trade has been $1 lower in the South and dressed trade has been $6 to $7 lower in the North. As of midday Friday, cattle remain on show lists, but this could very well be the bulk of this week’s trade. If packers are willing to give more money come late Friday afternoon, trade still has a chance to gain $1 or $2. With Thursday’s lighter kill, there could be a push to make up lost ground on Saturday.

Boxed beef cut-outs at midday are strong with $1.17 gain for choice $221.14 and $1.33 gain for select $199.93. Friday’s boxed beef movement is slightly less than Thursday’s, with 73 loads total (35 loads of choice cuts, 14 loads of select cuts, nine loads of trimmings and 15 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

The feeder cattle contract has been relatively quiet Friday morning as most assume that a direction in the live cattle market needs to take precedence before feeder cattle can really stand firm. However, it’s evident on the feeder cattle contract chart as well that an impressive V-shaped chart is forming with three consecutive days of positive movement being a signaling force. Friday’s market opened at $134.850 and has since then climbed to $136.675. With September’s contract nearing its end, most traders and investors have started to eye the October feeder cattle contract.

LEAN HOGS:

It has been a terrific week for lean hog contracts, and momentum continues to be present as nearby and deferred contract months all carry significant gains. With export opportunity looking more and more certain, it’s this rally could continue to build and grow. October’s lean hog contract opened Friday morning at $64.725 and has since then scaled up to $65.900.

Prices are lower on the National Direct morning hog report, down $0.72 at $45.59, ranging from $44.00 to $47.50, on 9,110 head sold. The projected lean hog index for 9/12/19 is at $59.71, down $0.98. Pork cutout values have dropped $2.09 to $68.38. Pork cut out loads came to 140 loads, 10 loads of trim, totaling 150 loads altogether, which is 89 loads less than Thursday.

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