It is time to get down to business for cattle buyers, with limited overall activity until now. Trade is expected to slowly develop through the day, although it could be late afternoon or evening before the dust settles.
Cattle: Steady to Higher Futures: Mixed Live Equiv: $137.47 +0.53*
Hogs: Higher Futures: Mixed Lean Equiv: $ 81.64 +0.90**
* based on formula estimating live cattle equivalent of gross packer revenue
** based on formula estimating lean hog equivalent of gross packer revenue
Cash business has turned into a Friday affair once again with limited overall packer interest developing the last couple of days. Although a few cattle sold on a dressed basis at $170 to $171 per cwt through the afternoon Thursday, there likely will not be enough cattle traded at this level to establish a good market trend. Generally, bids have been sluggish in all areas through most of the week, although feeders have been holding onto elevated asking prices as they focus on establishing underlying support following the recent market shift higher the last few weeks.
The ability to move prices even $1 per cwt higher will go a long way in maintaining overall market optimism going into the heart of October. Futures trade is expected mixed following a sluggish market move, which contained live cattle futures in a narrowly mixed range Thursday. Traders continue to focus on outside market direction as the overall trade talks going on in Washington, D.C., continue to create hope but uncertainty on further market direction.
The trade talks and potential deals have less direct impact to the beef industry and price levels, but it will heavily impact overall economic health of domestic and global markets. This will impact the overall direction of the market long term. Market reaction to the winter storms moving through the upper Midwest has been limited at best as these storms are expected to leave local and regional messes over the next few weeks, but overall impact on cattle prices and cattle numbers are still expected to be minimal. Friday slaughter runs are expected at 116,000 head.