DTN Livestock Midday: Markets Surging Onward and Forward

The livestock sector welcomed Wednesday morning with a smile and nod and markets have posted gains in the live cattle, feeder cattle and lean hog markets since.

General Comments

It’s a good day to be eyeing the livestock sector as live cattle, feeder cattle, and lean hogs are all ringing in gains and doing so with confidence and ease especially in the cattle contracts.

December corn is down 1 3/4 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $3.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 178.75 points and NASDAQ is up 78.51 points.


Though live cattle contracts haven’t seen as wild of a day as feeder cattle contracts have, slow steady gains always yield more long-term support and lessen the bite of volatility. It’s been interesting to watch the cumulative volume grow in the December and early 2020 contracts as the October contract will dissolve in three weeks and the eye’s target needs to re-align.

Many anticipate cash trade being at least $1 higher this week if not a little more, but as packer’s offer their first initial bids of $105 in Kansas and Texas there’s a lot of ground to be covered with asking prices of $110 in the South and $175 to $178 dressed, or $112 live in the North.

Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange Auction had 666 head listed with one lot from Nebraska and Texas, and two lots from Kansas. Asking prices ranged from $108 to $109, no takers again this week.

Midday boxed beef cutouts are mixed: choice up $0.86 ($214.46) and select down $0.90 ($186.16). Wednesday’s midday offering of boxed beef movement totaled 107 loads (38.83 loads of choice cuts, 44.44 loads of select cuts, 9.16 loads of trim and 14.66 loads of ground beef).


Typically feeder cattle rally off of live cattle prices but the roles have changed and the feeder cattle sector is breaking away and securing new gains in front of live cattle contracts. Analysts were starting to get leery of the side-ways trade developing in the feeder cattle market the last could of days, but today’s market broke through and secured prices not last seen since the middle of April.

If the market can keep Wednesday’s rally, cattlemen will head to town with their loads of calves and some jingle in their pockets as they know the fall run typically sells itself out and the nearing storm isn’t going to make transportation easy and probably will cause some sickness in freshly weaned calves. November feeder cattle opened Wednesday at $141.7 and has since jumped to $145.00 rallying $3.72.


Lean hog markets opened substantially higher than Tuesday’s close, opening at $70.25 and now listed at $69.40. Packers continue to push aggressively on kills and as money is to be had, and hopefully after Thursday’s conversations with China, there’s even more money to be collected from Chinese export markets. Overall lean hog markets are entering the midday hour higher, showing gains of $0.17 to $1.90.

The projected lean hog index for 10/08/19 is up $0.52 at $60.12, and the actual lean hog index for 10/07/19 came to $59.59, up $0.37. Prices are higher on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $0.34 with a weighted average of $52.59, ranging from $49.50 to $55.50 on 7,670 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $50.33.

Pork cutouts totaled 226.91 loads with 195.60 loads of pork cuts and 31.31 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $2.03 at $75.42.

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