DTN Livestock Midday: Lethargic, Directionless Trade

“Where to now?” The board asks with big eyes and uncertainty as a signal from anywhere would be gladly taken.

General Comments

Unable to decide on whether Wednesday’s gains should signal a toppy chart or if the market should take the support developed on Wednesday and grasp new highs is the contemplating, finger twiddling decision Thursday morning.

December corn is down 11 1/2 cents per bushel and December soybean meal is up $0.50. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 124.72 points and NASDAQ is up 37.59 points.

LIVE CATTLE

Pitter-patter-pitter-patter goes the board. Up, down, pause, down, up, pause repeat. Given the fact that both live cattle contracts and feeder cattle contracts are unsure whether to move one way or another outside of Wednesday’s thresholds clearly indicates that the market needs a signal.

Traders being aware of such uncertainty have again stepped to the sidelines and don’t have interest in being caught in the market’s turmoil. December live cattle opened the day at $111.10 and have since traded both higher and lower to now approach the midday at $110.95. Nearby and deferred contracts all show lower prices ranging anywhere from $0.20 to $0.60 less.

Cash trade remains ghostly quiet with earlier established bids and asking prices sitting on the table, but phones not ringing one way or the other. In time, someone will have to break the ice.

Midday boxed beef cutouts are higher: choice up $0.60 ($215.20) and select up $0.38 ($186.50). Thursday’s midday offering of boxed beef movement is substantially low only totaling 50 loads (22.61 loads of choice cuts, 15.38 loads of select cuts, 6.19 loads of trim and 6.23 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE

Deferred feeder cattle contracts are the only livestock market showing some support in the January 2020 through April 2020 contracts. Like live cattle, feeder cattle are unable to breakout from Wednesday’s marks and claim the day with higher or lower postings at least for the noon hour. November feeder cattle opened at $144.47 and now are trading at $143.85.

LEAN HOGS

No more news has surfaced on whether the trade conversations with china are going good or bad, though Thursday morning USDA did report that China purchased 18,800 metric tons of pork. One would think that a purchase like that, on the day where trade deals are being lined out, would spur support into the market and into the assurance that promising outcomes are to be expected, but unfortunately the lean hog board continues to trade mostly lower. December lean hogs are down $0.67 at $68.80.

The projected lean hog index for 10/09/19 is up $0.53 at $60.65, and the actual lean hog index for 10/08/19 came to $60.12 up $0.53. Prices are up on the National Direct Morning Hog Report, up $1.24 with a weighted average of $55.08, ranging from $50.00 to $57.50 on 6,039 head sold and a five-day rolling average of $51.37.

Pork cutouts totaled 156.38 loads with 120.34 loads of pork cuts and 35.83 loads of trim. Pork cutout values are down $0.18 at $75.83.

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