DTN Livestock Midday: Markets Show Growing Support

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

As Thursday grows closer and closer to the noon hour, all livestock markets continue to show more signs of growing support. With little cash trade developed on the live cattle spectrum, Thursday’s momentum could easily encourage a $1-3 gain late Thursday afternoon, or more likely Friday afternoon.

General Comments

The entire market’s complex seems to be warming up as we get closer to the week’s close. December corn is trading at $3.7150, up $0.25. Dow Jones is up 59.49 points and NASDAQ is up 24.72 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Unconfirmed talk on Twitter buzzes of Japan potentially granting a lower tariff on 90% of U.S. beef imports as part of Thursday’s trade negotiations. If such deals are made, the cattle market would be in position to have a strong rally with newly negotiated trade deals, profitable boxed beef margins, and a future’s board just waiting for a signal!

Thursday’s live cattle opened at $105.825 and have since dropped slightly to $105.800. Deferred contracts continue to find a support all the way to February 2021. As of midday, only a handful of bids have been renewed in the countryside, bids of $101 stand in Kansas, and $160 in Nebraska. Asking prices remain at $103-plus in the South, and $167 to $170 in the North. At this point, it’s likely that most trade will take place after Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report comes out. With a bullish report expected, and a strengthening futures board, price could align anywhere from $1 to $3 higher.

Boxed beef cutouts at midday are slightly higher, choice is up $0.17 ($218.41) and select is up $0.56 ($192.53). Boxed beef movement came to 59 loads total (25.22 loads of choice cuts, 17.65 loads of select cuts, 3.94 loads of trimmings and 12.23 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

October feeder cattle opened Thursday morning at $138.250 and have since then climbed to $138.875. Slow, steady, gradual gains in the feeder cattle market have helped build assurance that the bottom is in. Given the projections for Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report, the feeder cattle market should fare particularly well with placement projection being estimated at 94.5%.

LEAN HOGS

Despite hearing that there have been no new hog sales to China while Chinese representatives are in Washington D.C. hoping to ease yearlong trade tension between the U.S. and China, lean hog futures have held respectfully. Nearby contracts have moderate support through May 2020 and then contracts deferred further from there lose some market position. December lean hogs opened Thursday at $66.700 and have since jumped $2.075 to $69.875.

The projected lean hog index for 9/18/19 is down $0.44 at $56.32, and the actual lean hog index for 9/17/19 came to $56.76, down $0.73. Prices are down again Thursday on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, down $0.71 at a weighted average of $44.02, ranging from $41.00 to $45.50, on 4,455 head sold, with a five-day rolling average of $45.04. Pork cutout values came in $0.02 higher at $68.13. Pork cutout total loads came to 146.58, with 132.98 loads of pork cuts and 13.60 loads of trimmings.

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