DTN Livestock Midday: Markets Bounce, Uneasy Where to Land

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Wednesday opened to a mixed and wavering complex but has since found support in the corn markets and nearby lean hog contracts. Live cattle and feeder cattle contracts are both uneasy as to where to land and an unestablished cash market doesn’t help matters.

General Comments

Wondering where Wednesday is going is a perfect way to describe the feel of the midday market! With another case of African swine fever in South Korea, a strengthening corn market, and sideways trade on cattle contracts, a lot still needs to be determined before an established market can take hold.

December corn is up three cents at $3.71. The Dow Jones is down 57.12 points and the NASDAQ is down 30.23 points.

LIVE CATTLE:

December live cattle opened Wednesday at $105.225 and has since then gingerly stepped up to $105.425. With cutout values sharply lower, and a large movement of boxed beef, futures are discerning as to how much they can bite off Wednesday morning. Deferred live cattle contracts are all lower which could be somewhat due to the strengthening midday corn market.

Two pens of cattle sold on the Fed Cattle Exchange Wednesday morning, there was 1,229 head of cattle consigned to the sale, and of that 281 head sold. One pen of 132 steers sold for $101.000, with one-to-nine-day delivery and the second pen of 149 heifers fold for $101.25, with one-to-nine-day delivery as well. Buyers were reluctant to touch anything at $102. As of midday, cash bids remain illusive. Asking prices are around $103-plus in the South, and $167 to $170 in the North.

Boxed beef cutouts at midday are sharply lower with choice being down $1.21 ($218.56) and select down $2.16 ($191.75). Wednesday’s offering of boxed beef movement is up significantly at 109 total loads, versus Tuesday’s offering of 58 loads. The 109 total loads were made up of 47.04 loads of choice cuts, 31.06 loads of select cuts, 20.35 loads of trimmings and 10.36 loads of ground beef.

FEEDER CATTLE:

Feeder cattle opened Wednesday morning at $137.300 and have since then shifted to $137.425. Feeder cattle have two things working against them right now: 1) an indecisive live cattle market, 2) a strengthening corn complex. Corn opened Wednesday morning with little to no support but has since then found support at midday.

Though it’s unlikely, if live cattle establish an early cash trade this week, feeder cattle would have some indication as to where things are headed, and just how fast.

LEAN HOGS:

The hog headline for Wednesday morning was that the second case of African swine fever has been found and confirmed in South Korea. Officials and have culled nearly 4,000 pigs as of Tuesday and have stepped up their efforts to quarantine any infected herds.

Lean hogs opened Wednesday morning at $67.250 and have shifted down to $66.925 at midday. Nearby contracts through July 2020 show moderate strength and positive support. Prices are down $0.61 on the Nation Direct Morning Hog Report at a weighted average of $44.48, ranging from $42.00 to $46.00, with 6,955 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $45.32.

Pork cutout total loads came to 214.26, with 196.29 loads of pork cuts and 17.97 loads of trimmings. Pork cutout values came in $0.74 lower, at $67.47. The projected lean hog index for 9/17/19 is down $0.73, at $56.76 and the actual lean hog index for 9/16/19 came to $57.49, down $0.99.

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